They took him out to the ballgame

WARRENSBURG He sat inside the shiny, black limousine with everyone from his school wishing him well, and his comment was Cool! Seven-year-old Zachary Smith was on his way to New York City with his family to see a Yankees game and meet the team, as well as do some sightseeing, all on the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Zach has cystic fibrosis, although youd never know it to watch him. He plays baseball like any typical first grader, said Warrensburg Elementary Principal Amy Langworthy. Youd never know he was sick, said Christine Hayes, Zachs aunt. He has to take medication every time he eats, and daily meds. He has treatments every day, with a nebulizer and pounding his chest. The disease affects the lungs and liver and so far has no cure. Hayes said last year, she was watching TV and talking with Zachs parents, Jennifer Reed and Thomas Smith. We wanted to call the Make-a-Wish Foundation, but we didnt know what he would wish for, Hayes said. He wanted a white tiger for a pet, said Reed. Or he wanted to meet Clifford the big red dog. Hayes said she looked at the television, saw the baseball game and the light went on in her head. Hes always been a Yankees fan, Hayes said. He knows all the players and their positions, so this is the ultimate for him. The family learned a couple of weeks ago that the Make-a-Wish Foundation had granted their wish and were sending the family, including Zachs twin brother, Austin, to New York City via limousine for several days. Were staying in the DoubleTree Metropolitan Hotel in Times Square, Reed said. Were going to the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building and hopefully the Bronx Zoo. She said the trip was paid for except for meals and souvenirs. But the highlight for Zach was Friday night when the family was to go to Yankee Stadium to watch the team play against the Mariners. Before the game, however, they had the chance to meet with members of the team and receive autographs and other items. Langworthy said she contacted all of the elementary teachers about Zachs send off on Thursday morning, and the entire school emptied out to see him off. We organized a gift basket with a camera and other things for them, Langworthy said. That way, he can share his trip with us when he comes back. As the limousine pulled away, Zach and Austin waved out the window to their fellow students who were all shouting their goodbyes. Its a great character building thing for the kids, Langworthy said. Were letting him know that hes part of our family here, too.

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