TEMPE – Kristyna is a talkative, spirited and strong-minded 8-year-old who loves everything purple, baking goodies in her Easy Bake Oven and watching all of her favorite shows on Nickelodeon. To look at her wide smile you’d think that her life is full of cheer with no worries in the world, but despite her cheerfulness she has had to overcome many extra obstacles early on in life. At birth Kristyna was diagnosed with Conradi Hunnerman syndrome, and since then has been challenged with vision and hearing difficulties as well as stunted growth and skeletal scoliosis. Soon, she hopes to undergo a surgery that could possibly help to correct her spine, but her family is concerned because of all the risks involved. For now, Kristyna gets around in a wheelchair and relies on hearing aids and glasses to help manage some of the symptoms of her illness. At an age where many kids at school get teased for just getting a haircut, Kristyna doesn’t even let her patchy hair growth get her down. Kristyna bravely opts to have her hair shaved and only occasionally wears a wig.
When Wish Coordinator Kara Stecker of Kids Wish Network was contacted about Kristyna and her wish to visit Walt Disney World and Universal’s Nickelodeon Studios, she put together an amazing wish so that Kristyna would always remember its magic.
Once at Give Kids the World, Kristyna and her family ate at the resort’s whimsical restaurants and took part in all of its fun-filled activities. Kristyna especially enjoyed the village’s carousel and entertaining magic show. Her Mom Eileen said, “It was so wonderful not to be worried about daily chores. Everything was taken care of for you.” While she loved everything about the resort, Eileen said, “My most special memory was seeing the smile on Kristyna’s face. Give Kids the World was so magical.”
During their vacation the family enjoyed a full Orlando experience, visiting Walt Disney World theme parks, Sea World and Universal Studios. “I got to meet Mickey Mouse but he wouldn’t talk!” said Kristyna. Anxious to take everything in, her family visited three theme parks in just one day. Eileen said, “She didn’t want to miss a thing!” All attractions were compliments of Kids Wish Network and Give Kids the World. American Airlines provided roundtrip airfare for Kristyna and her family.
While Kristyna will still have to deal with the uncertain challenges of battling her illness, her family will always cherish the happiness they shared together, when everything was absolutely perfect – in “Kristyna’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 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. You can also visit its web site at www.kidswishnetwork.org.