Lakefest Regatta makes kids' wishes come true

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DENISON, TX -- It's an organization known for making children's wishes come true. The Make-a-Wish Foundation made one local teen's dream happen, all thanks to a big donation from an annual Lake Texoma event.

In 2010 Sherman resident Jackson Rainbow found out he had Hodgkins Lymphoma at the age of 11. He began treatment immediately and that's when the Make-a-Wish Foundation of North Texas stepped in.

Jackson loves football, and his wish was to meet his favorite NFL player.

"I've always wanted to meet Peyton Manning because he was a great person on the field and off the field," Jackson said.

About a year after he found out he had cancer, Jackson's wish came true. He met the rest of the Colt's football team, spent time at the practice field and attended a game.

"Peyton rushes out of this building and I'm like is that really Peyton Manning right there? I got caught off-guard. I was like that's actual Peyton Manning I see on tv. So, it was really cool," he said.

All of it was made possible by Make-a-Wish and the Lakefest Regatta --3-day sailing event at Grandpappy Point Marina on Lake Texoma.

The Texoma Sailing Club donates all proceeds from the event to the Foundation.

"There's so many kids in North Texas that need that need this and we can grant that wish. So, the Regatta is real important to that," Rene Birchall said.

Last year's event brought in more than $30,000. The Regatta has helped grant many wishes, and they hope they can continue to do so.

"After meeting Jackson today and listening to his story, it just makes me that much more prouder that we actually do this regatta to help these kids," Birchall said.

"I'm just thankful for these people out there who do these types of things for make a wish because it starts at them really. It's where it starts at. You know, because without them some of these wishes might not be able to happen " Jackson said.

In January, Jackson found out the cancer had returned. He goes to a Dallas hospital next week for treatment. But he's confident he'll beat the cancer again.

"The number one thing that has got me through this was being positive. I mean you can't have negative thoughts come in your mind," he said.

The Regatta is April 18 through the 20th at Grandpappy Point Marina On Saturday night there is a banquest and the public is invited to attend. Tickets are $30.00.

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