Make-A-Wish® Grants High School Athlete’s Running Blade Wish

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Make-A-Wish® Grants High School Athlete’s Running Blade Wish

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Yangzi wished for a custom prosthetic running blade, and @MakeAWish made it come true:
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 9:00am

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CONTENT: Multimedia with summary

Five years after he first learned he had bone cancer, wish kid Yangzi can now be seen running cross country on his custom running blade. 

How Yangzi’s story began

At 14 years old, Yangzi learned he had osteosarcoma – bone cancer in his right leg. 

Yangzi’s best chance at recovery was with amputation, and after six months of physical therapy and his first fitting for a prosthetic leg, Yangzi was already standing again. 

“I always believed I would be able to walk,” Yangzi said. “It felt strange at first because I wasn’t actually walking, it was more like floating on air.”

Yangzi was confident that if he could walk, he could run. 

As a high school athlete, Yangzi played on his school’s football team, but was frustrated by the weight of his prosthetic leg.

“I wasn’t that good because my speed was so limited by my prosthetic,” Yangzi said. “I pushed myself to do my best.”   

He also tried soccer, and ultimately settled on wrestling, where he learned he could compete without his prosthetic leg. 

Wishing for a running blade

Yangzi first discovered Make-A-Wish in early 2013. At that point, he had wished for three years that he could get a running blade – - a lightweight, athletic-friendly alternative to a prosthetic leg, used by some Olympic athletes and football players. “It cost too much for my family to afford,” he said. 

After six months, Make-A-Wish Philadelphia and Susquehanna Valley called Yangzi to let him know he would be getting his wish. Immediately, he began looking up different designs and local manufacturers, growing more excited each day.

Yangzi came across Cocco Enterprises, a local company that works with prosthetics and orthotics. When he walked in, it was everything he had ever imagined.

Yangzi and his running blade

Today, Yangzi is training for the upcoming track season. He recently ran a 5k with one of his friends, an accomplishment he is happy to share.

“I was really excited and I do it nonstop with my running blade now,” Yangzi said. 

He believes he’s almost catching up to his friend.

“Make-A-Wish helped me accomplish my dream,” Yangzi said. “It also helped me with my overall success and confidence – I’m not afraid of doing sports anymore.”

To help make wishes like Yangzi’s come true, please visit   

Keywords: Philanthropy | Make-A-Wish | Philadelphia | Running blade | Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship | Volunteerism & Community Engagement | childhood cancer | osteosarcoma | prosthetics

CAMPAIGN: Wish Stories

CONTENT: Multimedia with summary