NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - The holidays are a time for gratitude, and Wednesday we visited New York's first Maggiano's to cook with two very special kids who have a lot to be grateful for.
As 10-year-old Madison Lewinger and her twin brother Jack smile broadly in the new Maggiano's kitchen in Garden City, it's hard to believe that they were both diagnosed with kidney cancer when they were just 2 years old. Both twins traveled to chemotherapy week after week, and had their left kidney removed. And, for Madison, two recurrences made the struggle even more severe.
As Maddie and Jack completed their grueling journey to health, the Make-a-Wish Foundation stepped in to grant the wishes of the siblings. For Jack, that meant surfing in the Pacific and visits to Legoland and Disneyland. And for Maddie, a visit with some of her favorite princesses was her fantasy.
The foundation helped the twins take their love for cooking to the next level, as they whipped up a delicious holiday meal with Matt Dailey, the executive chef at long-time foundation partner Maggiano's Little Italy. In just a few steps, Chef Dailey guided Maddie, Jack and me through a meatball and pasta recipe that accommodates the twins' gluten and dairy allergies. After some hard work in the kitchen, enjoying the delicious dish was the perfect way for these two brave children to celebrate the holidays together.