MORGANVILLE – Sal, a bubbly 9-year-old from Morganville, enjoys studying math, watching Scooby Doo and playing with his dog Petty. Sal, unlike most other kids his age, never takes even one single day for granted. For the past eight months Sal has been fighting a brain tumor with aggressive radiation and chemotherapy treatments. While he keeps a sunny outlook about beating his condition, it’s not easy being a child having to deal with rapid weight and hair loss.
In need of a special dose of happiness, Wish Coordinator Terri McConn of Kids Wish Network was contacted about Sal and his only wish to take a tropical cruise with his family. Terri quickly went to work on making sure that they would soon be Cruisin’ together.
Sal and his family flew to Miami and were greeted by A Rose Limousine that chauffeured them to the Alexander All Suite Oceanfront Resort, the perfect beginning to their extravagant vacation. The following morning they were once again picked up by their chauffeur and taken to the Port of Miami where their Carnival “Fun Ship” awaited their arrival. “It was so great!” said Sal’s Mom, Elaine. “Everyone treated Sal like he was a king. Sal was given a private tour of the ship by the captain and many of the waiters joked around with him during our meals.” In addition to all the VIP treatment, Sal’s Mom was most thrilled watching Sal enjoy food again. Chemotherapy treatments have caused Sal to lose his appetite, and for the first time in months he had a desire to eat.
The ship’s activity desk provided the family with free excursion passes at each Western Caribbean port. They visited Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios, giving Sal the opportunity to experience many new adventures including swimming with dolphins and climbing a 900 ft. waterfall. Even with all of the fun to be had on dry land, Sal’s Mom admits it was difficult peaking her kids’ interest in anything outside of the ship’s long and winding pool slide. Sal’s Mom said, “Sal must have gone down it a hundred times!”
Even though Sal and his family will still have to deal with the burdens of his illness, the magic they felt together when life was smooth sailing, will always provide them with happy memories when they need a bridge over troubled waters.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank Carnival Cruise Lines for providing Sal’s complimentary ticket and offering the family’s package at a discounted rate, Alexander All Suite Oceanfront Resort for providing a complimentary night’s stay, A Rose Limousine for chauffeuring the family to all of their destinations and American Airlines for providing round trip air transportation.
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.