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11-year-old Thornton soccer player gets dream weekend with Rapids after heart surgery

Dream on 3 is a nonprofit new to the area that trying to help children with life-altering conditions
Justice and the Rapids!
Posted at 4:38 PM, Aug 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-23 18:38:07-04

DENVER — After having a rough last year, things are looking up for 11-year-old Justice Avila.

The Thornton soccer player learned her headaches and excessive exhaustion after playing were because she had two holes in her heart, and she's since recovered after having open heart surgery at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in December.

Eating chicken and waffles with Colorado Rapids winger Michael Barrios seemed to help lift her spirits, too.

Nonprofit celebrates Thornton 11-year-old's recovery with VIP experience

Avila just enjoyed the weekend of her life with the Rapids thanks to the nonprofit Dream on 3. A limo picked her up at a school assembly and whisked her away. Then, this past Friday and Saturday, she got to meet the players, eat a meal on the field and even join the broadcast booth during the game on Saturday night.

"My weekend was amazing," Avila said. "My dreams came true of meeting the Colorado Rapids."