Holly dreamed of mountains, streams, wild animals, and the wild West. Her one wish was to go to Denver and visit the national parks of Colorado. It seemed an impossible dream for the brave 12-year old girl who is undergoing chemotherapy for a rare form of leukemia which usually strikes adults.
Cathy Sternberg at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital contacted Kids Wish Network about Holly’s dream and Wish Coordinator Madeline Robinson quickly went to work to make Holly’s wish come true. In conversations with Holly, Madeline was fascinated by the quick wit of the adorable and precocious young girl.
Thanks to the efforts of Madeline and Kids Wish Network, it wasn’t long before Holly was playing Snow White in Rocky Mountain National Park. She got to see elk, deer, mountain goat, big horn sheep, and was thrilled when the chipmunks ate out of her hand. Holly told Madeline “the streams are so fresh and cold. You can actually drink right from them.”
Not only did Holly’s wish to see Colorado come true, Kids Wish Network and many generous Colorado benefactors made sure that Holly and her family got to enjoy many of the state’s delights. Holly and her mother had a luxurious day at the spa compliments of Denver’s Antoine Du Chez. Holly’s favorite part of the day was the pedicure. She told Madeline, “I never had a bubble bath just for my feet before!” A Jeep Laredo provided by Advantage Rent A Car allowed the family the freedom to travel wherever they wanted. The Hotel Monaco Denver provided hotel rooms but they were far from the usual accommodations unless you would say that a resident goldfish in each room was usual!
Holly and her family got to see Denver’s entertainment highlights thanks to the generosity of Six Flags Theme Park, Molly Brown Museum, and the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. The family enjoyed complimentary dinners at Rossi’s, Casa Bonita and the Heritage Square Dinner Theater. “The dinner show was great!’ Holly told Kids Wish Network. “I loved the 50’s and 60’s music and the star sang Duke of Earl and tried to hold my hand. He was dressed up in a cape and top hat and thought he was so suave. It didn’t work though as I had on my arrogance detector.” “I love Holly’s sense of humor. She is obviously mature beyond her years,” said Madeline. “Holly will be returning home to face the pain of a bone marrow transplant so I am glad that this trip was everything she had wished for.”
Part of Holly’s wish was funded by generous donations from James and Dorothy Tauscheck of Safety Harbor Florida, Bob and Patricia Hermann of Frederick Maryland, and Albert and Virginia Wilson of Lombard Illinois. The gifts were in memory of Anton and Victoria Tauscheck, parents of James, Patricia, and Virginia.
Holly’s Wish Coordinator, Madeline Robinson, took part in a bone marrow drive for Holly which was held on Saturday, August 12 at the Lakeland Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, no match was found and efforts continue as members of Holly’s family around the country search for a match. If you are interested in holding a bone marrow drive, please contact Peggy at Kids Wish Network. Even if you are not a match for Holly, you may be able to help another child also in desperate need.
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 their wish granting services, please call (813) 891-9374 or toll free at (888) 918-9004.