A Mother’s Wish: Family scores dream meeting with Argentina’s National Soccer Team

During a recent stay at MedStar Georgtown, Adriana Carrizo learned that Argentina’s national soccer team, her family’s favorite team, was scheduled to practice on campus. A few days later, wearing light blue and white stripes, her and her family were on their way to a day they will never forget.

April 6, 2015

That feeling you get when your wish is granted. For a local family of soccer fans, this feeling meant more than being overjoyed about an unforgettable moment. It also meant getting to forget for a little while.

 “It was wonderful because they were really happy, like happy happy!” said Adriana Carrizo, a native of Argentina and a cancer patient at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital who has been critically ill. “I saw their faces, and I could only imagine why their faces were like that. It’s been so hard for us, since I have to come here every week for clinic and other appointments. My family is not always happy.”

During a recent stay at MedStar Georgtown, Adriana Carrizo wished for her husband and children to watch Argentina’s scrimmage on the nearby soccer fields. She learned that Argentina’s national soccer team, her family’s favorite team, was scheduled to practice on campus.  Carizzo’s request was passed through MedStar Georgetown, Georgetown University’s Athletic Department and, then, along to Argentina’s soccer team. After a great collaborative effort, Carizzo’s wish was granted.

Carizzo Family with the Georgetown University Men's Soccer Team
Carizzo Family with the Georgetown University Men's Soccer Team

A few days later, wearing light blue and white stripes, husband Raul, daughter Angela, 14, and son Franco, 5, arrived at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. The family was ready for a day to remember.  The Carrizo family was escorted to GU’s athletic facility, where they met the men’s soccer team before heading to practice at RFK stadium. The Carrizos got to ride along with the team and Brian Wiese, Head Coach of Georgetown University Men’s Soccer. They talked about soccer and some of their favorite soccer stars they hoped to see at RFK.

When they arrived, the wish came to life.

“I just can’t believe this is happening,” said Angela, covering the smile she could not hide.

The family followed the athletes into the stadium and walked to the center of the field. Franco could not wait to lace up his cleats and touch a soccer ball. He ran to goal, passed with players and even threw out a few moves during the warm ups, but he abruptly stopped, to look once the Argentinian team in blue arrived.

“It’s Messi,” said Franco, dressed as a mini Messi. “He’s real! He’s in real life.”

Adriana Carrizo and family pose with Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi during a scrimmage with the Georgetown University soccer team.
Adriana's husband Raul Carrizo and family pose with Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi during a scrimmage with the Georgetown University soccer team.

Raul and Angela laughed as they headed to the stands for a good seat. Wrapped in blankets, sitting within feet of some of their favorite players, the Carrizos focused on the team’s footwork. When the last whistle blew, the Carrizos met some of the players, got autographs and took pictures with some of their favorite soccer stars, like Lionel Messi, Maxi Rodriquez, Javier Mascherano and Ezequiel Lavezzi.

“It’s been really tough with everything going on with my wife, and this was just really special,” said Raul, who formerly played soccer in Argentina.

Raul Carrizo with daughter Angela, 14 and son Franco, 5 at RFK Stadium
Raul Carrizo with daughter Angela, 14 and son Franco, 5 at RFK Stadium

Adriana’s love for her family and love for the game helped this family’s dream come true, but Joanne Assarsson, the social worker who originally passed along the wish request, noted the teamwork behind this wish. Assarasson said the collaborative effort was really an example of cura personalis, which highlights a culture of creating caring moments and caring for the whole person at MedStar Georgetown.

“It’s just heartwarming how everyone pulled together to make this dream experience happen for this family,” said Assarasson.

Franco Carrizo, 5, practices his soccer skills on the field of RFK Stadium
Franco Carrizo, 5, practices his soccer skills on the field of RFK Stadium

About MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is a not-for-profit, acute-care teaching and research hospital with 609 beds located in Northwest Washington, D.C. Founded in the Jesuit principle of cura personalis—caring for the whole person—MedStar Georgetown is committed to offering a variety of innovative diagnostic and treatment options within a trusting and compassionate environment.

MedStar Georgetown’s centers of excellence include neurosciences, transplant, cancer and gastroenterology. Along with Magnet® nurses, internationally recognized physicians, advanced research and cutting-edge technologies, MedStar Georgetown’s healthcare professionals have a reputation for medical excellence and leadership. MedStar Georgetown University Hospital—Knowledge and Compassion Focused on You.

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