Wish comes true for cancer survivor

Christian Caruso, 11, of Naugatuck, a cancer survivor, will get to see his hero, magician Criss Angel, in Las Vegas thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. -REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Christian Caruso, 11, of Naugatuck, a cancer survivor, will get to see his hero, magician Criss Angel, in Las Vegas thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. -REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

WATERBURY — Christian Caruso received the surprise of a lifetime from the Make a Wish Foundation as he was gifted a trip to Las Vegas to meet and watch his favorite magician, Criss Angel, perform.

Christian, who lives in Naugatuck, fought and won a battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma last year. Walking into the Waterbury TGI Fridays, he was expecting to be enjoying a quiet family dinner. Instead, Christian was greeted with an array of gifts along with a personalized video message from Angel, all while surrounded by his many friends and family.

Angels said in the video how excited he is to meet him and to keep fighting the fight, as Christian stares at the computer screen in awe, replaying the video over and over again.

“He’s a really good magician, I really like his style and he seems like a nice guy,” Christian said.

Christian is also a practicing magician himself. He said his favorite magic tricks to perform are card tricks.

Besides meeting and watching his idol magician perform, Christian said he’s most excited to visit Houdini’s Magic Shop in Las Vegas, where he and his family will spend a total of four days.

Cheryl Bieling, wish director for the Make a Wish Foundation, said making wishes come true is a project that involves the entire community coming together.

“Seeing how happy the children are when they find out they’re getting a wish and it’s really the whole process from finding out they’re getting a wish and thinking about a wish and the anticipation of the wish then actually the wish itself. It just helps kids with life threatening medical conditions to think about something other than their illness,” Bieling said.

Christian’s father Richard Chimera said seeing all the members of the community show love and support for Christian was a rewarding moment. His mother, Stephanie Chimera, also acknowledged how overwhelmingly positive all the support from Christian’s school, family and friends has been.

“Everybody came together and helped us a lot,” she said.