220421ind Matt Oliveira

Narragansett resident Matt Oliveira, a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines who was born with cystic fibrosis, says a 2009 Caribbean cruise paid for by the Make-A-Wish Foundation inspired his love of travel and changed his life. Monday, he ran the Boston Marathon with the goal to raise $40,000 for the foundation as part a four-member fundraising team.

NARRAGANSETT, R.I. — Matt Oliveira knows the power and hope that comes when a critically ill child gets their wish granted.

He was that smiling kid in 2009, and now he’s got a way to pay it forward.

Oliveira, a Southwest Airlines flight attendant and Narragansett resident, ran in the the 126th Boston Marathon on Monday as a member of team Make-A-Wish. As a team member, his goal is to raise at least $7,500 for Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Oliveira and his four-member team have a collective goal of raising $40,000.

“I was granted a wish in 2009 and haven’t been able to pay it forward to the team that helped me out so much,” he said. “I feel like wish kids seeing me run this race will be inspired to achieve greatness and know that a bright future is possible.”

Oliveira, bib 26461, crossed the finish line with a time of 4:55:07, according to the posted results of the Boston Athletic Association Monday afternoon.

His history with Make-A-Wish goes back more than a decade.

Born with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that causes problems with breathing and digestion, Oliveira received his wish for a Caribbean cruise in 2009 when he was 16.

“It completely changed my life,” he said. “It was the first time I met kids from around the world and it sparked my curiosity for travel.”

His wish was the start of his travel adventures and career. Since then, he hasn’t let his challenging medical journey stop him from seeing the world.

As a flight attendant with Southwest Airlines, he has experienced new places and met people from many countries.

Over the years, he has also authored a book, “Break a Leg, Fix a Mind,” sought adventure and nurtured his love for travel and skydiving. In his down time, he is active on social media, where he hopes to inspire people to live their best lives.

Oliveira said he is “super stoked” to be able to help out other kids facing tough health situations.

The wishes granted to kids facing life-threatening medical conditions can bring them profound joy, renewed strength and resiliency, and lasting hope to keep striving, according to Make-A-Wish.

Together with generous supporters and more than 400 volunteers, the organization has granted the wishes of more than 9,000 children in Massachusetts and Rhode Island since its founding nearly 40 years ago.

Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island has joined with John Hancock, the marathon’s principal sponsor, in the Marathon Non-Profit Program. The program provides more than 1,000 Boston Marathon bibs to select non-profit organizations throughout the community, giving those organizations a significant fundraising opportunity.

Last year, John Hancock Non-Profit runners raised more than $10 million for their causes, according to Make-A-Wish.

Donations to Oliveira’s runner page can be made at www.massri.wish.org/marathon.

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