For Christian, his early childhood memories are of a life in Mexico. His family moved to Mexico from Anaheim shortly after he was born in 1999 in order for his father to continue working for his grandparents’ flour, tortilla and burrito business. However, soon after his 6th birthday, he started feeling sick and began showing symptoms of cancer.
His parents took him to see a family doctor and through x-rays and tests, they discovered a mass in his liver. It was at that time when his family received the devastating news that Christian had been diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma.
After spending a few days in the local hospital, Christian was transferred to a larger facility in Zacatecas, Mexico, where he received stronger chemotherapy treatments. His doctors did not think he was going to survive, but Christian slowly got better. When Christian returned to the hospital for another round of chemotherapy, it was revealed that his current treatment was not working and it was time to start an even more aggressive round of chemotherapy.
After long days and nights spent in the hospital, Christian’s parents decided to move back to Anaheim and receive specialized care at Children’s Hospital of Orange County. It was there where they learned about Make-A-Wish and began the process to make his most heartfelt wish a reality.
From a very young age, Christian was always fascinated by tornadoes and the movie Twister. Although he did not think it would be possible, Christian wished to be a storm chaser and experience a tornado first-hand.
Thanks to Make-A-Wish, his wish came true and Christian and his family were flown out to Texas. During his wish trip, he appeared on a news station and helped report the weather with their meteorologist. He then spent two days with professional storm chasers on the prowl for a tornado. They drove out to the country and worked to spot the clouds that determine where a storm can form. The excitement of chasing a storm is a feeling that Christian will never forget.
This February, Christian will be 19 years old. He is currently celebrating 10 years of being cancer free and is now a college student pursuing a career in film. Thanks to his Make-A-Wish experience, his new personal goal is to be able to film a live tornado on his own.