Make-A-Wish recipient hopes to pay forward life-changing experience

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by SHELLY SLATER

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaashelly

WFAA

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 23 at 8:38 PM

MESQUITE - Sterling Watson, 17, is now a cancer-free football player for Mesquite High School.

But just two years ago, he was fighting a serious blood cancer. At 11 years old, his dad noticed his neck was expanding.

"They looked at it and said, you have a mass in your throat," Sterling said. "When they did the surgery, took it out, they said you have cancer. I didn't know what to believe after that."

But hope and faith got him through.

He had a big wish, which was granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

"Two years later, I was top dog," Sterling said.

'Top dog' as in President of the United States for one day.

Meet President Sterling Watson.

"We had the presidential motorcade -- ran a lot of red lights, too," Sterling said.

From the Secret Service, to salutes, speeches all day to thousand of government employees, he got the inside look at agencies from the EPA to Homeland Security.

"It was a life changing experience," said Sterling's father, Michael Watson. "It opened my eyes up, too. And made me realize how giving people can be of their time."

"It comes at a great cost, but in the end, when you look back upon it, it's man, I did this," Sterling said. "Thank those people for this."

Sterling isn't sure politics is his future, but he said this experience will forever shape who he is and who he wants to be - a person who pays it forward.

"It probably can't be repaid, but in the future, I will find a way," he said.

E-mail sslater@wfaa.com

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