Boy who battled leukemia will get a ride of a lifetime on Disney coaster thanks to Make-A-Wish

ByMarcus Solis WABC logo
Friday, December 1, 2023
Make-A-Wish helps dream come true for 11-year-old who battled leukemia
Marcus Solis has more on how Make-A-Wish is helping one 11-year-old's dream come true.

TARRYTOWN, New York -- Seeing your dreams become a reality is a magical experience, and for a young boy from Scarsdale, that's exactly what happened on Friday.

Ross Silverberg is an 11-year-old whose dream is to meet the Disney Imagineers who design and build the thrilling roller coasters at the world-famous parks.

Silverberg thought he was meeting to talk about his wish at the Hudson Valley chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Tarrytown.

Little did he know that wish is about to come true.

The 11-year-old from Scarsdale is heading to Disneyland Resort where he will get to ride the roller coaster of his dreams, the Incredicoaster at California Adventures.

"It's the only Disney ride to go upside down in Disney history ... it's California," Silverberg said.

Ross was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when he was 2 years old. He's undergone six years of treatment and is now in remission.

"This was a long process, a lot of chemotherapy through the spine, a lot of regular chemotherapy, he lost his hair, in the midst of it we had a baby. So it was a lot for us as a family," said Ross' mother Jill Silverberg.

The 11-year-old's wish was delayed in part because of the pandemic, and is one of about 125 wishes granted each year in the Hudson Valley.

"What we do at Make-A-Wish is provide hope and something to look forward to when you're going through your treatment, you're wondering what's going to happen, you can always look forward to your wish," said Kristine Burton of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. "That's why we always ask kids to wish for whatever is going to make you happy."

Silverberg's fascination with roller coasters started when he was five, and it goes way beyond just riding them, he wants to design them.

"I want to know everything about it because it's my dream to be an Imagineer when I grow up," Silverberg said.

"He actually wanted to meet with the people who were responsible for coming up with ideas, theming the parks and the coasters themselves," Ross' father Bennett Silverberg said.

Ross will get to do that next week and meet with Disney Imagineers before that ride of a lifetime.


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