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Raul Gives Drums to his High School

Raul asks for new drums for his school

“ Thanks to this wish kid ...his school band is now enjoying three sets each of Pearl tenor snare and bass drums. ”

Raul has vision of commanding a drum corps on the gridiron. He wants his high school marching band to hit the notes in a synchrony of percussion rhythm. But there’s one problem. They are using aging equipment that just doesn’t sound right.

Diagnosed with a life-threatening kidney disease and eligible for a wish, Raul asked Make-A-Wish® Orange County and Inland Empire to replace his school’s percussion equipment.

Wish granter, Jim Reed, wanted this self-less kid to have an extraordinary wish experience. Reed knew Raul admired Scott Johnson – percussion director of the prestigious Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps.

So when Reed and the Make-A-Wish team arranged for the drum wish they knew there was no one better to help Raul pick the instruments than Johnson.

While Raul tests out gear for his band at his favorite music store Johnson suddenly appears.

Even though Johnson constantly travels around the world teaching percussion, he flew in to meet this amazing wish kid. Johnson gives Raul a lesson and enjoys lunch with his family.

But Johnson wasn’t done making Raul’s wish experience incredible. He knew Raul had never seen the Blue Devils in person, so he invites Johnson and his family to a performance in Riverside, California. He even gives Raul a staff pass, so they could visit again before the show.

“It was the first time I had ever done anything like that,” Johnson tells the Concord Transcript.

And thanks to this wish kid and Make-A-Wish sponsors, his school band is now enjoying three sets each of Pearl tenor snare and bass drums. Raul also receives an extra surprise: his own drum set.

Volunteer Reed was impressed that Raul thought his classmates first.

I’ve been doing this for five years, but this was the first child who said he didn’t want any wishes for himself. ”

— Raul's wish granter

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Oh, God bless you, Raul. I'm a music educator and I know the wonderful power that music has. I hope that your music helps you feel a little better. And God bless you for using your wish to benefit others--it takes a very selfless, caring person. Best wishes.

October 28, 2007 - 10:59 AM


To give to others is a huge and selfless wish! You school must be so honored to have someone like you around. I was a Drum Corp member and would have been excited to meet someone like you. Reach for the stars and let the world know you are there! I hope your wish was all you were hoping it would be and more. I know my son's was!!!

March 17, 2008 - 4:40 PM


Wow, Raul!! I am also a corps fan. Blue Devils are amazing!!! I am so glad you are such an amazing person to wish for your band. God bless you, sweetie!!! You totally deserved what you recieved-- This organization does amazing things for amazing people. Hope you get to march BD's! Maybe one day we'll meet if I get to march Crown :D :D :D

November 30, 2010 - 3:59 PM

Jay C.

This was such a moving story. God bless you, Raul, for caring so much for your classmates and the band and wanting the best for them. I pray that God continues to shower you with wishes granted and improved health, and that He blesses Jim Reed and Scott Johnson for their help in making your wish come true.

June 05, 2013 - 9:59 AM


I have CKD stage 2 but its not as bad as his i mean im trying not to go to stage 3 but his story made my day because i know that some point in my life time im going to get to stage 4 and 5 but it inspired me.

September 09, 2013 - 7:36 AM

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