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‘Potter’ fan’s wishes granted: He meets the movie’s stars

By Diana A. Aydin

When 12-year-old Matthew Monahan made a wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation to attend the Los Angeles premiere of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” it was uncertain if he would meet Daniel Radcliffe, the movie’s star, said Chris Febles, a wish coordinator.

But on July 8, the Suffern boy, who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic disease in which the muscles of the body gradually weaken and deteriorate, did just that at the after-party of the movie. Radcliffe, the star of the “Harry Potter” movies, signed Matthew’s wand and his copy of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” Febles said.

“I had a good time,” Matthew said. “It was the best ‘Harry Potter’ movie yet.”

But the news got better. The night before Matthew and his family left Suffern for Los Angeles, Make-A-Wish called Matthew to tell him that on July 13 he would have the chance to meet Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley on screen. The meeting took place at the grand opening of the Harry Potter store at FAO Schwarz in Manhattan.

There, Matthew received a $500 gift certificate to the store and attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Grint also signed Matthew’s copy of “Order of the Phoenix” and his wand.

“Now Matthew has to meet Emma Watson and he’ll be all set,” Febles said.

When FAO Schwarz asked the Make-A-Wish foundation if they could send a “Harry Potter” fan to the opening, the foundation immediately thought of Matthew, Febles said.

Now Matthew can’t wait to tell his friends at school about the premiere, said his mother, Teresa Monahan.

“It was really exciting,” said Matthew, a student at Suffern Middle School.

“It was the specialest day of his life,” said his sister Kaylee, 9.


Original article found here: lohud | July 21, 2007

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