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Liam meets his biggest idol

“ It was an amazing experience. ”

- Liam

  • Liam , 14

    • chronic lung disease
    • I wish to meet my favorite athlete

You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get. Words, that inspire kids like Liam. They were spoken by his biggest idol: Michael Phelps.

“Michael Phelps is an amazing athlete,” said Liam. “I’ve always wanted to meet him.”

The 14-year-old has big dreams of becoming a competitive swimmer, and is already well on his way.

“This year, I competed in State, Sectionals, Futures, and Junior Nationals,” said Liam.

Liam’s determination is matched equally by his passion for swimming. He’s a fierce competitor who does it all, while also battling a critical illness.

“I have a rare bleeding disorder and lung disease,” said Liam. “So, my lungs can stick together sometimes, and because of my bleeding disorder sometimes my blood doesn’t clot as fast.”

The teen says he is being treated by doctors in both Washington state and Washington, D.C.

“I’ve been studied by the National Institutes of Health. I’m the only one that has this right now, so it doesn’t really have a name, I guess it’s going to be named after me and my doctor.”

“My brother got me into swimming,” he added. “Swimming does help my lungs.”

Liam wished to meet and swim with Michael Phelps last year. A wish, Make-A-Wish® Oregon was honored to help fulfill.

“I was excited and nervous,” said Liam. “I just asked him a few questions I always wanted to ask him about some events, and some pointers. He answered them and he was really nice about it."

"We did a 25 all out, and I beat him," said Liam. "He kind of like made up an excuse, so when he went down to push off the wall it wasn’t low enough."

Liam also wanted his brother to be a part of this life-changing moment. Both got to swim with Phelps.

"We did all the different events, and he gave us pointers on what we were swimming and how to do better. It got me thinking about why I like swimming and just making me want to swim more and try harder and swim faster.”

“It was an amazing experience,” he added. “It has a lot of significance to me because I want to swim in college and hopefully go to the Olympics one day.”

A powerful meeting with his hero, that inspired Liam to keep believing in his dreams.

“At least for me and everyone else who has had a wish, it gives them a reason to do something with their life and just keep on trying to do what they want to do, even though they’re going through this stuff,”

Liam is a Make-A-Wish Oregon Wish Ambassador, who is choosing to Wish It Forward  to other local children waiting for their wish to come true, by helping us raise awareness.

To support local children like Liam, CLICK HERE. 

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Make-A-Wish® Oregon
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