Make-A-Wish toddler lives dream of playing drums for marching band

CORAL GABLES, FLA. (WSVN) - A 3-year-old boy’s dream of playing with a marching band became a reality, thanks to Make-A-Wish, and WSVN got to be a part of the celebration in a very special way.

Raheem Darlington played his heart out Saturday at the University of Miami’s Fifth Annual Mini Camp on its Coral Gables campus, Saturday morning.

Born with a respiratory and nervous system disorder, the toddler hasn’t let that stop him.

“The drums are his life,” said Tajjii Ferguson, Darlington’s mother.

Thanks to Make-A-Wish Southern Florida, his dream of playing drums in a marching band has come true.

Darlington was given the chance to play with UM’s Frost Band of the Hour at the Mini Camp.

“It’s a feeling I just can’t explain. Every time you see him, you just want to cry, not for sadness but happiness,” said Ferguson. “Even when he does the smallest thing, put on a shoe, a milestone.”

“It really does reinforce that a wish isn’t just for the child, but for the entire family,” said Richard Kelly, chief operating officer of Make-A-Wish Southern Florida.

The camp usually gives high school students the chance to see what it’s like to be part of a college crew, but participants changed their tune a little to make Darlington’s wish come true.

The boy’s mother said that after all the hardships he’s faced, seeing him smile and doing what he loves means the world to her.

“I’m holding back tears,” said Ferguson.

7News’ Alex de Armas also spent time with Darlington on his special day.

“This wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of Channel 7,” said Kelly. “The contributions that they’ve made, both with their time and monetarily, are great for our community.”

Darlington’s family said he was really looking forward to this special day for a long time and are grateful for everyone who helped make it happen.

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