2013 Highlights, Appreciation & Remembrances


  • Treasured and impactful wishes included Kolby’s first ride on his new adaptive tricycle.  He exclaimed, “I can do this myself!”  It was probably the first time he experience the taste of independence. His mom Lynn said, “Kolby is having such a great time with his bike.”(See the picture above.)
  • Another heartfelt one came from a single mom working every day and caring for her daughter Sarah.  It was almost the last straw when Sarah’s stroller/wheelchair broke after years of wear.  The specialized chair could not be purchased with her limited income.  Sarah has cerebral degeneration, a condition that will only worsen.  She loves to go outside, so when Stealth Mobility heard of Sarah’s need and wish for a new stroller, they stepped in to grant her wish.  Mom’s tears testified to her great relief and Sarah’s smile said “Thank you!”
  • A celebrity wish was granted for Jenny to meet the cast of “Grey’s Anatomy.”  This literally took 2 years but according to Jenny, meeting actors Kevin McKidd and Chandra Wilson and her trip to Hollywood was worth the wait.
  • One of the most unique requests was to take a round trip train ride to Pennsylvania’s famous train museums.  David, a 12 year old with Down syndrome and deafness, is something that lights up his face with enthusiasm.  Now he has had first hand experience riding, eating and sleeping on a train as well as learning about the history of trains.
  • And lest one think a Disney Cruise is simply frivolous, I challenge a look at Kaley.  She was facing a grueling surgery to lengthen her leg followed by months of wearing a cast and slowly stretching the bone with pins and screws.  She needed some encouragement and fun before then and the cruise was just the thing to do it!
  • Wishes included 15 Give Kids the World vacations; 11 Disney cruises, 4 trips and 4 adaptive bicycles; 3 shopping sprees and 3 camps; 1 celebrity meet & greet, a camera, computer, stroller, bedroom makeover and Universal Annual passes.
  • 46 UCF Cornerstone teams sponsored 60% of the cost of these wishes and gave each child the party of their choice.  I highly commend these young adults who put their hearts into their projects.  They provide funding, marketing and best of all, they touch the lives of our children bringing hope and joy!
  • There are many donors who make wishes possible, and I wouldn’t want to omit one–each donor is important.  New Hope for Kids’ staff and families say thank you for giving your resources to make lifetime memories!
  • Volunteers give of themselves to provide family events, wish support and varied, numerous gifts of their time and talents.  I can’t say it enough, “We love you and wouldn’t be able to provide services to families without YOU!  Thanks.
  • We will greatly miss three of our Wish Children who died in 2013.  Our hearts go out to the families and friends of Simone Ellis, Myesha Smith and Talia Castellano.  New Hope for kids offers a unique moment in time, but our “Wish Kids” give us precious memories forever.