WAIPAHU-Playing video games, watching Eddie Murphy and Tom Cruise movies, and eating pizza are just some of the things that 14-year-old Brandon enjoys. Like so many other teenage boys, he also has a ‘crush’ on the musical group, Eden’s Crush, and the WWF has a strong hold on him, with The Rock ranking as his # 1 wrestler. However, Brandon will never get the chance to perform in the ring like his idol, or in any other athletic capacity. He suffers from severe cerebral palsy, along with the condition leukodystrophy that causes extreme muscle weakness. Young Brandon must use a wheel chair and wear leg braces; it is even difficult for him to speak which requires him to use an adaptive communication device. Despite all of his struggles, he is always in high spirits and has a great sense of humor.
When Wish Coordinator Terri McConn of Kids Wish Network heard about this brave young man and his wish to travel to The Big Apple to meet his favorite comedienne, Rosie O’Donnell, she had his dream trip planned in a New York minute. He and his family were whisked away for a 6-day stay in Manhattan to meet the famous talk show host and watch a taping of her program. During his stay in town, Terri also arranged for Brandon to go sight seeing and to get chauffeured to two very trendy theme restaurants to dine: the Jekyll and Hyde Club with its spook-tacular atmosphere, and Mars 2112 where guests can be invaded by aliens at every turn. And each night, he and his family retired to their lavish accommodations at The Muse Hotel where Brandon was able to rest up for his big day: his Meet and Greet with Rosie.
When Brandon arrived at her studio, he and his family were escorted to their front row seats; his younger brother, older sister and himself were even presented with Koosh Balls before the taping began. Soon after, the entertaining Rosie appeared on the set and Brandon sat captivated during the live one-hour taping. He was even in attendance for the taping of a few segments that will be used on future shows. Soon after the cameras stopped rolling, the lights came up and Brandon’s big moment arrived. He was introduced to Rosie and presented her with the Hawaiian gift basket he brought for her. After that, it was time to visit and talk with the host of his favorite show; they even shared hugs. Rosie graciously posed for pictures with Brandon and his entire family so his wish would forever be captured on film.
The visit ended with Rosie presenting Brandon, along with his brother and sister, jackets that she autographed for each of them. When asked what the favorite part of his entire New York trip was, Brandon said it was definitely meeting Rosie. “Everything was great; the whole trip was wonderful. I thank Kids Wish Network so much for making my son’s dream come true,” said Brandon’s mother.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank The Rosie O’Donnell Show and all of the gracious sponsors that made Brandon’s dream come true: American Airlines, the Muse Hotel, Mars 2112, Jekyll and Hyde Club, Madison Avenue Limousine, A Pegasus Limousine Corp., NBC Studio Tours, the Statue of Liberty Ferry, and the Central Park Zoo.
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.