Most kids granted a wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Utah want to go to Disney World, take a vacation in Hawaii or go on a shopping spree. Not 16-year-old Bridger Russon.

The Orem teen (pictured, right) who suffers from a genetic muscle disorder known as Barth Syndrome, wants to go to college.

And thanks to the generosity of donors through the foundation, along with employees of his father’s work at Salt Lake City-based engineering firm Caldwell Richards Sorensen (CRS), Bridger got his wish — a $10,000 gift toward his college tuition. And he says he wants to use it to attend the University of Utah.

Representatives from Make-A-Wish and CRS as well as the University of Utah mascot, Swoop, surprised Bridger with the check and a proclamation during a tour of the U’s College of Engineering campus Thursday, Dec. 4. CRS also presented Bridger with an additional $2,000 donation from the company’s employees. On hand for the presentation were Bridger’s family, CRS employees and U College of Engineering Dean Richard B. Brown.

“It’s nice. I was surprised. It was really nice of Make-A-Wish. I want to have a good future, and I’m too old for Disneyland,” Bridger quipped about why he picked college tuition for his wish.

Bridger was born with a genetic defect that affects all of the muscles in the body, including the heart, resulting in a low pulse and a low immune system. He received a heart transplant on June 8 at Primary Children’s Hospital.

“It’s a rebirth and a second birthday for him,” his father, Erick Russon, a field surveyor for CRS, said about the heart transplant. “We feel blessed.”

Bridger, who is a student at Timpanogos High School in Orem, said he would like to study medicine when he attends the U.

“Growing up, having a heart condition, being the smaller kid in school, I think he saw the importance of going to college,” his father said on why Bridger picked tuition for his wish. “I was really blown away that that was what he wished for.”

During Bridger’s visit, he got a tour of the U’s Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute where he viewed medical computer simulations, and he and his brothers played some of the games created at the U’s video game design program, Entertainment Arts & Engineering.

This fiscal year, 171 wishes have been granted to children with life-threatening medical conditions in Utah, said Daniel Dudley, corporate and community manager for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Utah.