MONROE – Daniel, age 7, of Monroe, North Carolina, loves Pokémon, Donald Duck and listening to ‘N Sync and the Backstreet Boys. Daniel is witty, outgoing and a joy to be around. However, for someone so young he must deal with many challenges. Daniel suffers from malnutrition, and although he has a feeding tube, still remains extremely underweight. Daniel’s disease has caused him to mentally develop less quickly than other children, and he suffers from countless disorders. It’s a lot to handle for a child who’s only in the first grade.
In need of a special dose of happiness, Wish Coordinator Terri McConn of Kids Wish Network was contacted about Daniel and his only wish to visit Disney World. Terri quickly went into action making Daniel’s wish a dream come true, also arranging a wondrous stay at Give Kids the World in Kissimmee, Florida, a magical resort full of laughter, joy and hugs, catering to the unique needs of families who have children with life threatening illnesses.
At Give Kids the World, the family experienced its special activities, whimsical ice cream parlor and the resort’s unusual and fun restaurants. “It was fabulous,” said Daniel’s mom Debbra. “At Christmastime Give Kids the World had the kids write to Santa, and one evening Santa and Mrs. Claus came to the village with gifts for each child on their Christmas list.” Daniel must have been extra good this year because he said, “I got lots of presents!”
During their vacation, the family enjoyed many Orlando attractions, visiting Walt Disney World theme parks, Universal Studios and Sea World. Daniel was especially thrilled to receive autographs from Mickey, Minnie and Goofy in the Magic Kingdom, and to ride Splash Mountain. “My dad went with me,” said Daniel, “and he got soaked!” All attractions were compliments of Give Kids the World and Kids Wish Network. American Airlines provided round trip airfare for Daniel and his entire family.
While Daniel will continue to experience the burdens of his illness, his family will always remember the wondrous gift they shared together, when everything was absolutely perfect – in “Daniel’s World.”
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.