GREELEY- Rudy likes to play with his two dogs, watch Jim Carey movies like Ace Ventura, and eat pizza. This 13-year-old also collects Hot Wheels cars and likes to cheer on his favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys. Unfortunately Rudy will never get to run the length of a football field like his sports heroes. He suffers from muscular dystrophy, a condition marked by weakness and wasting of skeletal muscles. He has to take a steroid medication and has even had surgery to release the tendons in his ankles. “He still hurts from that and he still can’t really walk,” said his mother, Sylvia. Rudy does have a motorized scooter to get him around outside, but his mother said it makes him feel self-conscious. Sylvia said he’s shy and doesn’t like the attention he gets from it.
So when Wish Coordinator Madeline Robinson of Kids Wish Network heard about this shy young man and his wish to go to Disney World, she quickly got him an invitation for some fun in the sun away from his problems. Not only would Rudy 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.
While at Give Kids the World, Rudy 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. The park’s mascot, the rabbit Mayor Clayton, even introduced himself to Rudy. “He got to meet Mayor Clayton and take pictures with him,” said Sylvia. He liked the whole village, but really enjoyed playing video games in the arcade.
During their vacation, the family enjoyed a full Orlando experience, visiting Walt Disney World theme parks, Universal Studios and Sea World. Rudy absolutely loved watching Shamu the whale perform its amazing stunts in the water. “He just kept talking about that,” Sylvia said. All attractions were compliments of Give Kids the World and Kids Wish Network.
“The trip was so nice, it went really well,” said Sylvia. “We really enjoyed the whole thing.” No matter what the future may bring to this young boy, he and his family can always look back to a magical place in their memories where dreams really do 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.