Cancer Patient’s Generous Wish Granted, Playground for School

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(KSWB) — A South Bay boy being treated for a life-threatening disease had his wish granted Thursday at a surprise ceremony at his school.

Jose Montano was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer in April. He began chemotherapy treatments and quickly lost all his hair.

When the Make A Wish Foundation offered to make a wish come true for the fifth grader, his family expected him to ask for a trip or to meet a celebrity.

“We thought he would want to meet Tony Hawk, but he didn’t. So we said, ‘Lets get a pass to Disneyland.’ No, he just said one day, ‘Dad I know what I want.'”

Jose asked for new playground equipment for the students at his school, Berry Elementary.

Thursday, Jose turned 11. When a black stretch limousine pulled up to his house, his family told him it was there to take him out for birthday breakfast. Instead, the limo, escorted by four San Diego motorcycle officer, brought him to the school, where the entire student body was waiting to greet him.

As Jose got out of the limousine, he was greeted by television cameras and clapping well-wishers. The soft-spoken boy was escorted to the brand new play structure, where he cut a red ribbon with a giant pair of scissors. He then inaugurated the installation by being the first child to slide down the slide.

“It’s the wish that keeps on giving. It’s the wish that symbolizes and teaches us that it’s better to give than just receive,” said Berry’s principal, Cynthia Smith-Ough. “(The other kids) look at Jose as a teacher, and he is our teacher. He’s taught us so much, and kids are going to be happy for years to come.”

Jose is undergoing his seventh round of chemotherapy. He has two more treatments later this month and the family says he is showing signs of improvement. He graduates from Berry at the end of the school year, but he has left an impact on the school that will last for many years to come.