Age: 6 Hometown: Fillmore, CA Game: UCLA vs. University of Michigan
Six-year-old Phoenix Murillo goes by the name “Turbo” – and he’s exhibited a level of strength and perseverance that easily lives up to that nickname.
Shortly after he was born, Turbo and his family came to Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA to treat Turbo’s autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease, a rare genetic disorder that caused life-threatening kidney and lung complications.
“UCLA saved my son’s life several times,” Turbo’s father George says. “The doctors, nurses, care partners, parking attendants – they’re all great people.”
Turbo’s years-long treatment plans involved regular blood transfusions, weekly dialysis treatments, kidney transplantation and later – when diagnosed with liver cancer in 2015 – chemotherapy regimens and lung surgery.
Phoenix has been cancer-free for the last year, has continued to recover with his family alongside him and was finally able to attend his first basketball game with his family as UCLA Kid Captain.
Congratulations to Turbo and his family! It is an honor to care for Turbo, a UCLA Kid Captain who has endured enormous hardships, yet continues to fight each and every day with a smile on his face.