August 28, 2009
Universal Merchant Services joined with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Orange County/Inland Empire for a unique and exciting opportunity to turn the wish of Christian B., a 9-year old from Stanton, CA, into a reality. Christian’s wish – to join in a daring race across Texas to track down an amazing feat of nature – the tornado.
Christian, an inspiring 9 year-old from Stanton, California, was diagnosed with Burkitt ’s lymphoma in the second grade. Around that time, Christian saw the movie Twister for the first time. From that point forward, Christian was fascinated with tornadoes. Christian and his dad even conducted their own tornado experiments at home.
When Christian met with the wish granters from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, they quickly landed on what he’d most like to do - to be a storm chaser and see a tornado!
Christian, his parents, and his younger brother were flown to Lubbock, Texas for Christian’s wish. They headed to KAMC news station to join Ron Roberts, the top meteorologist in the region. From there, Christian and his father began their 13-hour adventure with Al Hardin, who has 20 years of storm chasing experience.
Over the next few days, Christian met with several meteorologists who taught him about weather balloons and tracking storms. He then went to the Texas Tech University Wind Science and Engineering Center where he was shown a tornado simulator. Christian nearly reached celebrity status in Texas after appearing on a local newscast to talk about his storm chasing experience. While he did not see a tornado, he did have the opportunity to see the forming of a funnel cloud in the sky, which he described as “very exciting.”