A former Make-A-Wish recipient is looking to pay if forward by granting 150 wishes to others during Canada’s 150th celebrations.  

21-year-old Dominique Ruiz-Courcelle struggles with Friedreich’s ataxia, a rare disease which causes progressive damage to the nervous system. At 17, her wish was granted when she met music star Justin Bieber.  

“It was totally amazing,” Ruiz-Coucelle said. “Everything was perfect, and even now four years later, now I’m 21-years-old, it is still impacts me every day, every minute, every second. I really feel the power of a wish.”

Ruiz-Coucelle wants others to have that feeling, launching her campaign on Thursday by granting a wish to 13-year-old Mateo, who has anaplastic large cell lymphoma stage 4.

In front of friends and family Mateo watched a video where Ottawa Senator Chris Kelley tells him that Make-A-Wish will be granting his ‘Man Cave’. The room will be filled with all his favourite things, including the new autographed jersey from Angentine soccer star, Lionel Messi. Two local designers, Joey White and Vivianne Gaudet, will step in to create all of the art.

Mateo, who is waiting for a bone marrow transplant from his younger brother, said the gift is a boost during a difficult time.

“It means a lot and it puts a big smile on my face… I miss home so it will be nice to get home and have a place to hang out,” he said.

To make these 150 wishes possible Ruiz-Coucelle is aiming to raise $1.5 million. She hopes to have 10-thousand Canadians donate 150 dollars, or $10 for 15 months, but said any amount will help.

You can find more information on the campaign here.