Morganville boy battling critical illness surprised with Make-A-Wish trip to Nintendo World

Toni Yates Image
Monday, April 29, 2024
8-year-old NJ boy surprised with Make-A-Wish trip to Nintendo World
Toni Yates has more on the special day for Morganville resident Joseph Reinel.

OLD BRIDGE, New Jersey (WABC) -- A boy from Morganville, New Jersey battling a critical illness received the surprise of a lifetime on Monday.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation recognizes April 29 as "World Wish Day," and 8-year-old Joseph Reinel learned that his wish to go to Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios in California is coming true.

Reinel's big surprise resulted from a partnership with The Learning Experience as a celebration of the 2024 "Let's Grant Wishes" campaign, which benefits Make-A-Wish.

"There's 720 kids that are diagnosed with a critical illness," said Make-A-Wish New Jersey's Dominique Gleason. "So, we want to make sure we get to all of those children and make sure their one true wish comes true."

A celebration was thrown for Reinel on Monday announcing the big reveal. The 8-year-old has been courageously fighting a life-threatening heart condition.

He almost lost life back five years ago when he went into cardiac arrest and passed out at an event he attended with his brother, Julian, and mother. His father, Israel, was on his first day at a new job and had to rush to the hospital.

"My son loves these red shoes," said Israel Reinel. "I grabbed the red shoes and I held them for hours. It was hard."

Reinel has some other medical and developmental challenges along with the heart condition. He was little weaker than his brother when they were born at 32 weeks. He'll take medications for the rest of his life for his heart. Doctors also had to implant a device in his stomach, which makes sure his heart jumps back to pumping if it ever stops.

As a part of the celebration, Reinel also joined the Make-A-Wish family that has over 585,000 children and families around the world.

The trip to Super Nintendo World will be for him and his brother Julian's 9th birthday.

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