UPDATE: It's with great sadness we report that after a long and courageous battle with cancer, Rayquan Fregeau passed away Monday, Jan. 20, 2014. Read Rayquan's full obituary now from the Boston Herald.
Seldom do you find a charitable organization that has the impact of Make-A-Wish. This past year alone a total of 14,000 wishes were granted across the United States, over 400 of them having to do with music. The organization is synonymous with kindness and compassion, and is widely recognized for the work they do for children and young people with life-threatening medical conditions.
Rapper T.I. is a hip hop superstar. Seven times he's lent his name, time and energy to the Make-A-Wish organization, dating back to 2005. Fuse News caught up with him as he was making the wish of a very special fan named Rayquan come true. Rayquan, a hip hop fanatic whose been rapping since the 5th grade, was diagnosed with cancer last February when he was 17 years old. His wish? To meet T.I.
Rayquan’s mom, Brenda Haynes says of the diagnosis, which came after a visit to the doctor after Rayquan was having pain in his back, "We were both devastated. It was a surprise. They started him on an aggressive form of Chemotherapy. Changed his whole life completely."
The opportunity to make a difference in Rayquan's day was not lost on T.I., "I mean, for me I think it's flattering to even have someone name you as a wish, it's extremely humbling. It's just as rewarding for me as it is for them, probably more you know."
For Rayquan, meeting T.I. will come after a day of hitting Atlanta, where a whirlwind tour of the city brought him to DJ Drama's Means Street Studios for an interview on Drama's radio show, then a trip to well-known Atlanta clothing store “Fly Kix ATL” for some gear. After running into comic Alex Thomas and ATL rapper, Rich Homie Quan, it was time to get ready for day two.
Day two was all about Rayquan’s hero. Not only would he meet T.I., but the two would have dinner- complete with a stop-by from Young Dro- and then hit the club. Atlanta’s Cream Lounge, one of the most popular in the city was where Rayquan received a special shout out from his idol. “I have someone who came down from Boston a young man by the name of Ray who I had the opportunity of meeting through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, so if you rock with me, man rock with him.”
Later Rayquan learns he’ll be featured on an episode of T.I.'s T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle. The two-day jaunt has been an unmitigated success. Says, Rayquan’s mom, Mrs. Haynes, holding back tears, "It's a distraction from what we have to go through. Like we forgot about cancer, we're not thinking about Chemotherapy, We'll deal with it when we get home. But for now we just trying to enjoy our time here."
As for Rayquan, the trip won't soon be forgotten, "It was better than expected, I did not think that half of this would, could happen."
- Segment produced by Lindsey Pritzlaff
- Article by Chris Deluca