Make-A-Wish recipient receives special Final Four trip

HOUSTON – Final Four weekend will be big for the players and fans, but it'll mean much more for a family from Illinois.

“I was sick and I was able to get a Make-A-Wish and this was my wish,” said Austin Spencer.

His wish came true with a trip to Houston for the Final Four.

“I always wanted to come see it in person,” said Spencer.

Austin has a rare blood disease and a genetic disorder.

“It's just cool to do what I want to do,” he said.

Doctors diagnosed the 19-year-old three years ago.

“We're really happy to have him healthy and able to fulfill his dream,” said mother Tamara Spencer.

When it comes to basketball, there was no doubt which team the family was rooting for.

“Go North Carolina,” said father Bart Spencer.

Austin's younger brother Mason was a huge Tar Heels fan.

The 15-year-old died last August of complications after a bone marrow transplant as part of his treatment for the same disease Austin has.

“From here on, we can move forward with our lives and try to make the best of the time we have,” said Bart Spencer.

It's been a tough journey for the Spencer family, but Final Four weekend is a time to celebrate basketball and life.

“It lets us focus on the miracle we have with my older brother as opposed to the tragedy from the younger one,” said sister Raegan Spencer.

The Spencer family will go to all the Final Four games, including the championship game on Monday.