Make-A-Wish grants Peoria boy's magic wish

By Anna Yee

May 29, 2013 Updated May 30, 2013 at 6:20 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- A little bit of magic is going a long way for a Peoria boy and his family.

Blake Ballard, 9, is a huge Harry Potter fan. On Wednesday, the Make-A-Wish Foundation threw a send-off party for Blake and his classmates at Woodrow Wilson Primary School.

In June, Blake and his family are going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, Disney World and Sea World.

Blake was born with major heart defects. He has undergone two open heart surgeries and is expected to go through at least two more heart procedures.

Blake's mother says the Florida trip is a dream come true.

"It means the world to us," said Amber Ballard. "There's no way not being able to work and him having all the issues that he has and everything and needing to be close to home a lot. It's like a godsend for him to be able to go and do this and enjoy something that I know I could never give him myself."

Blake's Florida trip is fully funded by the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois and its affiliates.

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