Boy with cerebral palsy gets heartwarming Christmas surprise

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A boy in Pennsylvania got a Christmas surprise he's longed for - a chance to see his beloved grandmother again.

Mikaael Sanchez, 10, has cerebral palsy. The 5th grader's family moved to Harrisburg, Pa., from Puerto Rico for better medical treatments, WHTM reports.

Illeana Santiago, the grandmother who helped care for him while his mother worked, stayed behind.

Sanchez's school, South Side Elementary, tries to help kids in need over the holidays. Marianne Troutman, a 4th grade teacher at South Side, said the school's mission has grown over the past few years. They were able to help 93 families this year, in addition to Mikaael's family.

Mikaael said the only thing he wanted for Christmas was to see his grandmother. It would have been the first Christmas he'd spend without her and the first Santiago will spend without her husband, who died earlier this year.

"It was really hard for her," said Michelle Sanchez, Mikaael's mom.

"He could have asked for anything and he asked for his grandma," said Shawn Lynam, who helped raise money to bring Santiago to the U.S. in time for Christmas. "So we had to get him Grandma."

As Mikaael and his classmates sand "Feliz Navidad" - one of his favorites - Santiago and the boy's aunt, Jeannellie Sanchez, walked into the school gym.

Mikaael, initially overcome by shock, burst into tears as he wheeled his chair over to them. Santiago wrapped her arms around her grandson as he cried.

Thanks to Lyman's crowdfunding campaign, the two women were flown to Harrisburg, will get to stay in a hotel for a week and will have some extra cash for food during their stay, among other gifts.

"She says she doesn't have words," Jeannellie Sanchez told Lynam, translating for her mother.

"I don't either," he responded.

Mikaael and Santiago said reuniting was the very best Christmas gift of all.