Brush with Fame

Forest Lake resident Blake Brunner, 17, recently met Miami Marlins players Jose Reyes and Josh Johnson thanks to an all-expense-paid trip through Holiday, Fla.-based nonprofit Kids Wish Network. Brunner was born with a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy which both enlarged and weakened his heart. Surgeons implanted a left ventricular assist device that helps pump his blood and he is now being monitored. He was also placed on a heart transplant list in case the device doesn’t work as planned.

“Blake is a huge baseball fan,” said his father, Steve Brunner. “And he’s a big fan of the Marlins players. “I don’t think he’s done smiling yet. The players were a class act and just being in a national league park was a thrill to him.” In Miami, Brunner also rode in a limo, visited the locker room, watched a game versus the Washington Nationals and was gifted with a Marlins jersey, baseball cap, and other gifts. To watch a video of his experience, visit

Forest Lake Press
Forest Lake, Minnesota

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

48,632 kids helped this last fiscal year through our many programs and services.

Our Mission

Kids Wish Network is a charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations. Kids Wish Network assists children and their families through several key programs.