Winter Haven boy battling cancer granted wish for trip to Super Bowl

- Winter Haven’s Xander Martinez is as tough as any NFL player.

Now 13, Xander has been in a battle with an aggressive form of cancer - synovial cell sarcoma - since the age of 4.

“The cancer has come back. This is his third time,” his mom, Judy Taylor said. “It traveled to his lungs.”

Even through the toughest times, Xander never lost his joy or his love for football. 

Thanks to the Make-A-Wish foundation, Xander was among 14 Wish Kids sent to Super Bowl 52 in Minnesota. 

As an Eagles fan, it was a dream come true.

“It was awesome, everyone was screaming,” Martinez said. “All the excitement made my mind forget everything I'd gone through.”

“It was amazing, he truly deserved it,” Taylor said.

Alongside his brother, mom, and uncle, Xander got the VIP treatment, meeting current and former NFL stars including hall-of-famer Tony Dungy.

But the icing on the cake was the Eagles' historic victory - the first in franchise history.

“I wasn't really nervous at all. I already knew the Eagles were going to win,” he said.

Back home in Winter Haven, he has a mountain of memorabilia, and memories to last a lifetime.

“It’s something we will never forget and he cherished every moment of it,” Taylor said.

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