SEVERN- Like most 4-year-olds, little Brooke Leann loves stuffed animals and puppets. Her favorite movie is Barney, her favorite T.V. show is Winnie the Pooh, and she absolutely loves music and playing instruments. But that’s where most of the similarities between her and other kids her age end. Brooke was born with Apert’s syndrome, a rare condition that causes deformities and developmental delays. She must have a nurse, tracheostomy care, and use a g-tube to eat. But despite her daily struggles, her family says she is just always happy.
So when Wish Coordinator Kara Stecker of Kids Wish Network heard about Brooke and her wish to play with Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh at their home in Disney World, Kara quickly went to work to get her and her family an invitation for a play date. Not only would Brooke and her family get to enjoy Disney and other exciting Orlando amusement parks, they would soon be sharing special moments at Give Kids the World in Orlando, Florida, a magical resort full of laughter, joy and hugs, catering to the special needs of families who have children with life threatening illnesses.
While at Give Kids the World, Brooke and her family ate at the resort’s whimsical restaurants and one of her favorite moments was sitting down to breakfast with Goofy and Pluto. They also took part in all the fun-filled activities offered to all of its special guests and especially enjoyed riding around the grounds on the train.
During their vacation, the family enjoyed a full Orlando experience, visiting Walt Disney World theme parks, Universal Studios and Sea World. A highlight for Brooke came in a one- on -one meeting with Barney at Universal Studios. All attractions were compliments of Give Kids the World and Kids Wish Network.
Brooke’s mom said they had a wonderful time and that “Brooke just loved meeting all the characters and playing with the other kids. Brooke never stopped smiling.” No matter what the future may hold for this little girl, she and her family will always be able to look back to a magical place in their memories where dreams really do come true.
Kids Wish Network is a nationally recognized non-profit organization whose mission is to grant wishes to children who have life-threatening illnesses. If you know of a child between the ages of 3 and 18 who may be in need of Kids Wish Network’s wish granting services, please call (813) 891-9374 or toll free at (888) 918-9004. You can also visit Kids Wish Network’s web site at www.kidswishnetwork.org.