Mike Madriaga 12:40 p.m., May 25
Young Cancer Patient Honored for His Community Contribution
Eleven-year-old Jose Montaño is a fifth grade student in District Eight’s Berry Elementary school. He has battled a rare form of brain cancer, undergoing several rounds of chemotherapy, since the Spring of 2011.
When contacted by the Make a Wish Foundation, an organization famous for making wishes come true for children diagnosed with deadly illness, Jose made an unusually selfless wish. Instead of requesting a special trip or the opportunity to meet a celebrity, he asked for new playground equipment for his school, one that his siblings and fellow students could enjoy.
Councilmember David Alvarez, who yesterday proclaimed March 13, Jose Montaño Day in the city of San Diego, shared with fellow city councilmembers the day that wish came true. On March 1, under the guise that a limo was taking him and his family to breakfast in honor of his birthday, police escorted Jose and his family to Berry Elementary. There, more than 600 students, staff, and members of the community cheered his arrival for the inauguration of the new playground.
Jose cut the large red ribbon and took a ceremonial first slide on the new equipment. The playground, which bears a plaque in his honor, was hailed as a gift the community will be able to cherish for years to come.
“I had to recognize what he did for the community,” Alvarez said, who also presented Jose with an autographed football from Chargers’ starting running back, Ryan Mathews. Jose received a standing ovation from the council, and those in attendance. Afterward, he thanked everyone for inviting him and his family, and for his gift.
photo source: Facebook.com