COTTAGE GROVE – Nicky is a happy 6-year-old boy with an adventurous spirit and witty sense of humor. Nicky loves spending his time watching Blue’s Clues and his favorite cartoon character Tommy of the Rugrats on Nickelodeon. But life is anything but a comical cartoon for Nicky who has immune deficiency, epilepsy, ADHD, microcephaly and is developmentally delayed. He requires IVIG every month to boost his immune system and six medications in addition to undergoing physical, occupational and speech therapies. Even though Nicky has been put through so much and has spent much of his life in the hospital, his Mom Wendy said, “Nicky has such an inner glow, he has so much faith.”
Wish Coordinator Melissa North of Kids Wish Network was contacted about Nicky and his dream to visit Walt Disney World and Nickelodeon’s Studios. Just as Nicky’s favorite character Tommy would say, Melissa thought, a Wish Coordinator’s gotta do what a Wish Coordinator’s gotta do, and put together an amazing wish so that Nicky would always remember its magic.
Once at Give Kids the World, Nicky and his family ate at the resort’s whimsical restaurants and took part in all of its fun-filled activities. “It’s a beautiful place,” said Wendy. “All of the kids with their variety of illnesses were all so accepting of each other. Nicky met a little girl who came up to him and said, ‘Oh, you have a port in your chest too!’ It was also such a wonderful opportunity for parents to meet other parents of sick kids. I couldn’t help but tear up when it was time to leave. All of the staff and volunteers were so nice, they really went out of their way for us. It is a place that I will never ever forget.”
During their vacation the family enjoyed a full Orlando experience, visiting Walt Disney World theme parks, Sea World and Universal Studios. “The staff at the Magic Kingdom treated us so special. Nicky loved meeting Mickey Mouse, who he called Nicki Mouse, and afterward they took us behind the scenes to meet even more characters.” Nicky also enjoyed “seeing Shampoo” (Shamu) at Sea World and getting cooled off by the dolphins when he sat in the splash zone of the arena. All attractions were compliments of Kids Wish Network and Give Kids the World. American Airlines provided roundtrip airfare for Nicky and his family.
While Nicky will still have to deal with the uncertain challenges of battling his illness, his family will always cherish the happiness they shared together, when everything was absolutely perfect – in “Nicky’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.