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Nashville Boy Meets Chris Pratt

By Todd Marver

Make-A-Wish Illinois recently granted the wish of Douglas Habbe, a Nashville 9-year-old, to meet actor Chris Pratt. Douglas and his family traveled to Los Angeles last month to meet Pratt during the Super Mario Bros. Movie premiere. Pratt plays the character Owen in the Jurassic World movies.

Sherry Habbe, the mother of Douglas, said her son loves all the Jurassic World movies and Owen is his favorite character in all the Jurassic World movies. She said Douglas loves learning facts about dinosaurs.

“He has so many dinosaurs. I think he has every dinosaur imaginable,” she said.

Sherry said that when Douglas was referred to Make-A-Wish and they started talking about things he could wish for, she told Douglas to wish for something that his parents could never do.

“We’ve taken him to Disney World and Legoland. He was like, ‘I want to meet Owen.’ So we’re like, ‘OK.’ When the Make a Wish volunteers came to our home to meet with him, the only wish he had was to meet Owen. He didn’t want to think or talk about any other ideas. He knew what he wanted and thankfully they were able to make it happen for him,” she said.

Sherry said Douglas and Pratt talked for a few minutes, played with dinosaurs and had a big hug.

“Douglas brought one of his little toy dinosaurs with him, which is a velociraptor because in the movies Owen is a velociraptor trainer. His favorite velociraptor is one called Blue. He brought his little toy Blue and he brought his little toy Owen figure,” she said.

Douglas is diagnosed with an illness impacting his kidneys. His diagnosis is one of more than dozens of medical conditions that qualify a child for Make-A-Wish. He was diagnosed in utero with lower urinary tract obstruction at 19 weeks gestation. He had fetal surgery at 20 weeks. He was born at 35.5 weeks and had multicystic dysplastic kidneys and Prune Belly syndrome, which led to his kidney failure in 2020 and his kidney transplant in June 2021.

“Once he had his transplant, he is more of a normal child full of energy and wants to play and wants to be outside and wants to do things. He still has a lot of hospitalizations and a lot of other issues that his transplant didn’t resolve. He’s doing so much better. He is in in-person learning this school year. He was in school in-person learning for the first time since preschool, which was pre-COVID times. This is the first time he has been back in a traditional classroom since before COVID,” she said.

Sherry said prior to the transplant when Douglas was on dialysis and was in in stage renal failure, he spent the majority of his day asleep, sitting on the couch playing on the iPad or in his room watching TV.

“He just didn’t feel good and didn’t feel like doing anything,” she said.

Sherry said Pratt’s 10-year-old son was born five or six weeks premature and spent time in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit).

“Not as much time as we spent in the NICU, but he has that experience of having a premature child as well. His little boy is 10 and my son is 9, so they’re basically the same age,” she said.

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