I am frequently asked, “What Wish have you granted that stands out from the rest?” It’s a difficult question, because there are so many and each one holds its own charm. Every child is unique and I like to think that their wish is the best wish each and every time. However, I do have some pictures and stories to share…
This is a picture of Sean with his team, The Wish Makers. They raised $1,474 to help send Sean to San Jose, CA to the 2015 Wrestle Mania WWE. Sean wrestles with a rare disorder called arthrogryposis which causes contractures and abnormal fibrosis of the muscle tissue. For Sean, that has meant 5 surgeries to help him retain use of his arms and legs. He refuses to give in to it. He chooses to crawl rather than use a wheelchair. He does not want others to wait on him, because he wants to be independent and do as any child would do. His wish is exceptional, because Sean is exceptional! His mother Josy told me, “Sean, seriously was on cloud-9 the entire trip! He met so many wrestlers and had the TIME OF HIS LIFE at Wrestlemania!!! He kept saying how he didn’t want to leave California.”
Zorielis and Alexandrea are sisters with the same challenges of mitochondrial disease and cerebral palsy. They use a wheelchair for mobility, so it was a natural for them to ask for a wheelchair tandem bike to share. To the right, they are seen with their Cornerstone Team Silver Lining who raised $1,756 towards this wish.
Repeatedly I hear the message from parents and kids alike that special needs children want to be treated like other children and they want to be able to participate in regular kids activities. Being able to ride a bike outside with others is a gift. It’s a healthy family activity that they can now enjoy!
Marc is pictured with Sirena, one of the GMAC team members headed by Greg Warren. This team took on the full responsibility to make Marc’s dream come true.
Marc waited 6 months in the Florida Hospital Cardiac Care Unit for a new heart. It was a very trying time for him and his family. During this time, Marc’s mom Jeannine requested a wish for him. I visited him and though he could not form the words, he showed me a picture of a Portuguese Water Dog that he wanted for his wish. Greg, Sirena and Greg’s granddaughter Nicole went to work researching puppies, and found a little black female with a white marking. Marc appropriately named her Hope because she provided the hope he needed to wait for his heart. The day finally came, and Marc received a new heart and the beginning of a new life. His recovery has been miraculous. The picture on the right was taken following Marc’s recovery with his Mom, Dad and Hope. His joy is evident!
VASQUEZ FAMILY GOES TO NEW YORK CITY! Jeremy and Janiss were honored guests with their family at the Hilton Double Tree Suites, Time Square, NYC. Jet Blue Airlines provided passage for them and the CALIC Group of Orlando covered the cost of food and miscellaneous expenses. Publix Supermarkets also helped to sponsor the wish. Other activities were donated to make the trip extra special. These included the Statue of Liberty Ferry Tour, New York City Tour buses, Wheeler’s Transportation of Orlando, Dave & Busters in Time Square, New York City Experts Transportation, and the American Museum of Natural History. Without the help of these generous businesses, this trip could not have been possible.
From the moment they arrived in the Big Apple till their plane began its flight home, they were busy seeing the sights! It was reported that the Statue of Liberty was Jeremy’s favorite. He wanted to see the tall buildings of the city. The family is pictured above (Front: Jeremy and Janiss; Back: Glorymar, Carlos Jr., Carlimar and Carlos Sr.)
A special thanks goes to Carol Redding, NHFK Wish volunteer, for coordinating and doing extensive research and planning for this outstanding wish. Also a big thanks to Pat Michaels who was instrumental in getting the JET BLUE airline donation.
Kalyn knows every word to “Frozen” and couldn’t wait to get on the big Disney Cruise ship to sail away with Princess Elsa. On the right she is pictured with her mother and 3 happy Mascots who presented Kalyn with her wish at our annual Mascot Meet & Greet Party. Her team, Tuesday raised $1,200 to help make this dream a reality. They were enchanted by Kalyn’s charm and happiness. She is so delightful, we all fell in love with her. No doubt, there couldn’t be a “frozen” heart near Kalyn.