Boy with rare disease has lifelong wish granted

Leonel Sanchez had his wish granted Sunday by getting out on the race track. (Frank Martinez / KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A Central Texas boy with a rare disease had a wish granted Sunday as he took off around the race track.

Leonel Sanchez wants to become a race car driver. Sanchez, a third-grader, was recently diagnosed with a rare form of degenerative multiple sclerosis.

Doctors say he will likely be in a wheelchair within a year, and he may not make it to his teenage years.

Sanchez’s teachers and classmates wanted to make sure he had the chance to fulfill his dream of driving a Ferrari. They reached out to Driveway Austin, where President Bill Dollahite, a professional race car driver, got Leonel out on the tack.

“It means the whole world to him,” Mayra Bolanos, Leonel’s mom said. “Because that is what he wants. He wants to be a race car driver.”

“The doctor says that it came from me but none of my family is in a wheelchair, so I don’t understand why,” Bolanos said. “I told the doctor I wish it was me because I’m old. I’m older, you know. I rather go or die before him.”

Leonel was given a trophy and real racing suit to keep. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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