On Saturday, the Oakland Raiders teamed up with the Make A Wish foundation to make a boy named Frank Castodio who suffers from chronic kidney disease, fulfill a dream of his.
Playing professional football is a dream come true for the men who throw, catch, block, tackle and kick each Sunday in the National Football League. For a young man like Frank Castodio, just playing outside in the sun is a victory. Castodio suffers from chronic kidney disease. While in the hospital at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., Frank’s family was approached by the Make A Wish Foundation. It was Frank’s wish to meet the Oakland Raiders, obtain some autographs and hang out with the players.
Frank signed a contract with the Raiders as general manager Reggie McKenzie looked on. He also took part in practice and walked to the field with Jacoby Ford and Charles Woodson.
After taking some mental reps, Frank hit the field at wide receiver and took a pitch on a reverse, multiple-lateral play. The 16-year-old wearing jersey #13 picked up some blocking down the left sideline and took it to the house for the score.
In the post-practice huddle, Coach Allen explained to the team who Frank is and described his condition. “We have a young man here, Frank Castodio, he’s suffering from chronic kidney disease,” Coach Allen told the team. “This is a guy who’s got a real battle, he’s got a real fight, this guy is fighting his tail off. We owe it to him to go out and play well.”
Frank then led the breakdown and broke the huddle as the Raiders said, “get to the playoffs,” in unison.
“The Make a Wish Foundation granted his wish to bring him to the Raiders facility to meet some of the players, the coaching staff – it’s pretty amazing,” said Alec Grijalva. “We have a pretty close relationship. This was a good day, just to see him happy, smile on his face. He loves all these players out here, for them to take him in like that, it’s fantastic.”
“I’m a big Raiders fan and this only happens once in a lifetime,” Castodio said. “I got to practice with them and got to see the weight room and the [training room]. I played [football] since I was little until my freshman year in high school. When I found out I had the disease, I stopped playing football. Next year I’m going to try to play again.”