When Make-A-Wish Arizona (MAW) asked cancer survivor Jaime Gamez what he desired, there were no mentions of meeting celebrities, or attending concerts, or visiting tourist destinations. Instead, Gamez's ask was a wish for self-improvement. All he wanted to do was go to college at the Universal Technical Institute, where he could study to be a diesel technician. Gamez found out this week his dream is coming true, and Make-A-Wish surprised him with fully paid tuition.
Make-A-Wish contacted 18-year-old Gamez following his battle with cancer in 2018. Gamez is now in remission and a graduate of Valley Vista High School in Surprise, Arizona, just outside Phoenix. This fall, he starts the next chapter of his life at Universal Technical Institute's Avondale campus just west of where he lives. Thanks to several sponsors, he won't have to worry about the financial burden of paying for his education.
Gamez will be training in the Diesel Technology and Freightliner Finish First programs, which would have cost him tens of thousands of dollars. Instead, MAW, UTI, Daimler Trucks North America, Freightliner, Premier Truck Group, Snap-On Tools, Sunstate Equipment Co. and the TechForce Foundation are footing the bills.
"Paid for, that is crazy," Gamez told Phoenix's Fox News 10. "That is almost $50,000 paid for. This is something that is going to help me in my life and be there day in and day out."
Gamez has reportedly loved big rigs since he was a child. Now he'll have a chance to build his adult life through his passion.