Alonso is 16 and loves soccer, food like tacos and Panda Express, and classic rock music. Diagnosed with systemic lupus in 2010, Alonso's immune system is unable to protect him from illness.
In addition, he experiences immense pain and inflammation from antibodies attacking his body. Alonso has also suffered damage to his kidneys from the antibody attacks, which bring additional pain and complications. As he goes through the trial-and-error process of treatment for lupus, he looks to his first love—soccer—to find joy.
Ever since Alonso was a kid, he has wanted to join the Mexico Selección soccer team and meet all the talented players. He loves playing soccer, but he gets the most pleasure from following the team through their international matches. When the pain is too much for him to bear, he switches his focus over to virtual soccer by playing FIFA on his PlayStation 4. When the time to name his wish came along, meeting the team he adores immediately came to mind.
Luckily, the Mexico Selección team was scheduled to play in an exhibition match versus Iceland in Las Vegas in February of 2017. Even better, with a connection from the UNLV Soccer Foundation, a wish was in motion. And the best part? The match was scheduled during Alonso’s birthday! His Wish Granters Daniel and Apolinar scheduled dinner with his family at a private room at GameWorks under the guise of working to make his wish come true. Then, they surprised him with the announcement that he was meeting the team the next day!
Tahiti Village hosted Alonso and his family with a taco bar, birthday cake, a soccer ball to get signed, and a classic rock chords book. From there, he and his family got to experience a private Mexico Selección team training at UNLV Peter Johann Soccer Field, where there was an opportunity for photos and autographs after practice. Alonso got to meet the entire team! The following day, it was Mexico vs. Iceland at Sam Boyd Stadium. Alonso and his family were whisked to the match in a limo, and they were escorted to the field to watch warm-ups. Then, they joined over 30,000 spectators to watch his team defeat Iceland 1-0. Maybe Alonso was Mexico Selección’s good luck charm…the power of a wish!
And Alonso’s wish story doesn’t end there. After his wish came true, he met with members of the UNLV Soccer Foundation board of directors. He presented them with a plaque of appreciation for their role in making his week come true and was able to relive the experiences of his wish. We are grateful to have incredible community partners like UNLV Soccer Foundation that believe in wishes coming true!