LOUISVILLE- The color blue, watching the Cartoon Network and eating macaroni and cheese are all things that 5-year-old BJ likes. This all-American boy also enjoys baseball and the Disney movie Tarzan. However, BJ will never get to climb and swing from trees or run around the bases of the baseball diamond. He suffers from osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease, a condition that can cause broken bones with the slightest of injury. “His bones can break even when he’s just standing,” said his mother, Pamela. He has a titanium rod in his leg for support and is due to undergo surgery on his other leg. Through it all, his mother said he is still a very outgoing and talkative little boy. “He’s only in pain when he has a break. He doesn’t feel like he has any limitations.”
So when Wish Coordinator Terri McConn of Kids Wish Network heard about BJ and his wish to meet Mickey Mouse, she quickly got him an invitation for a play date with his favorite character. “When I got the call, I told BJ he could wish for anything; he said he wanted to go to Disney World,” said his mother. Not only would BJ 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. “It’s just so touching there,” Pamela said.
While at Give Kids the World, BJ and his family ate at the resort’s whimsical restaurants and took part in all the fun-filled activities offered to all of its special guests. “When we were eating breakfast, all the Disney characters came to the village,” said Pamela. “He was so excited; he got to take pictures with them and get their autographs.” The Castle of Miracles and the arcade were just two of the places BJ enjoyed at the resort. However, the ice cream parlor, where guests can eat the frozen treats morning, noon and night, was a favorite of his entire family.
During their vacation, the family enjoyed a full Orlando experience, visiting Walt Disney World theme parks, Universal Studios and Sea World. At Universal Studios, BJ and his family ate at the Hard Rock Café where he was given the royal treatment along with some souvenirs. “They treated him like a king there,” said Pamela. BJ also really enjoyed spending time at Mickey Mouse’s home, the Magic Kingdom. All attractions were compliments of Give Kids the World and Kids Wish Network.
“BJ wants to live there. He didn’t want to come home,” said his mother. “It was fantastic; I couldn’t believe it.” No matter what challenges this young boy may face in the future, he and his family will always be able to look back to a time in their memories where everything was perfect and dreams came 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.