“I love you. You love me. We’re a happy family.” These are the words to Barney’s theme song. 17-year old Justin loves Barney so when Kids Wish Network asked him what he wished for, he let us know that he wanted to go to Disney World and he wanted to meet Barney.
Justin was diagnosed with Cockayne Syndrome 13 years ago. This rare disease prevents normal growth and Justin is just 37 inches tall and weighs 20 pounds. He stopped growing when he was one-year old. Doctors told his devastated parents that he would probably only live to be 10 years old so it is a miracle that he will soon be having his 18th birthday. Justin must use a wheelchair most of the time. He is deaf and legally blind but has enough sight to watch his favorite character on TV. He cannot talk, read or write but uses sign language to communicate. In addition to Barney, Justin likes to watch wrestling, especially “The Rock”.
Justin is suffering from liver failure so Kids Wish Network worked hard to make his wish come true quickly. With the help of American Airlines and Give Kids The World, Justin and his parents were soon on their way from Dallas, Texas to Orlando, Florida. The family got to meet all the wonderful characters at Disney World and then spent a day at Universal Studios where he got to meet the big purple guy who gave him a big hug and a kiss. Meeting Barney was the highlight of Justin’s life.
In a letter to Kids Wish Network from Justin’s mom before the wish trip, she wrote “We have had many good years with Justin and although we know the end is coming soon, we try to take one day at a time and cherish every moment with him. That is why this wish is so great for us. This will give us memories with Justin we would not have had the opportunity to have and it will also make his day to see Barney. “
“It is letters like this that make my job so rewarding.” Commented Justin’s Wish Coordinator, Madeline Robinson.
If you know of a child between the ages of 3 and 18 who has a life threatening illness and may be in need of wish granting services, please contact Kids Wish Network at (813) 891-9374 or toll free at (888) 918-9004.