BALTIMORE- Alex is very strong minded, according to his mom, Nickie. “His name starts with an A, and so does attitude, which is what he has plenty of,” she said. The same might be said for a lot of 10-year-olds, but Alex’s nature might be more of a fighter’s instinct. He’s doing battle with his chronic granulomatous disease, an immune deficiency disorder that can cause things like recurrent pneumonia. It forces him to take a total of 17 pills a day to fight it off. In addition, he also has Crohn’s colitis, a chronic form of irritable bowel syndrome. Unfortunately, the medication that helps his colitis counter acts the treatments for his immune deficiency. Alex must be wary of doing even the simplest thing, like drinking from a water fountain. “He’s very tuned into what he needs to do to prevent a flare up,” Nickie said. “It’s been hard for him, but he’s dealt with it and endured.”
So when Wish Coordinator Kara Stecker of Kids Wish Network heard about Alex and his wish to go to Disney World, she used her own fighter’s attitude to make it happen. Not only would Alex and his 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. “He loved the village so much, he acted like our little tour guide through the whole thing,” his mom said.
While at Give Kids the World, Alex and his family ate at the resort’s whimsical restaurants, like the Gingerbread House Restaurant and took part in all the fun-filled activities offered to its special guests. Alex’s favorite parts of the village were the arcade and the Castle of Miracles, a place with statues that talk and where kids can sit in magical thrones and crowns suddenly appear from nowhere to make them royalty.
During their vacation, the family enjoyed a full Orlando experience, visiting Walt Disney World theme parks, Universal Studios and Sea World. Alex absolutely loved going on all the exciting rides in the Tomorrowland section of the Magic Kingdom. “My son is basically fearless. He’s just a nut,” Nickie said. His mom said he’s so crazy and entertaining that he even broke into song to amuse the people standing in line. All attractions were compliments of Give Kids the World and Kids Wish Network.
Young Alex has already told his mom that when he gets older he wants to return to Give Kids the World and be a volunteer. “He wants to give something back,” Nickie said. “We had such a wonderful time. We’re tired, but we are still riding high. For Alex, it was a fairy tale 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.