PEACH BOTTOM- Little Christopher has very simple tastes. The color orange, the T.V. show Rolly Polly Olly and eating chicken noodle soup are things that make him happy. And this adorable 5-year-old really enjoys playing with his dog Cocoa, his cat Kitty and shopping at Toys R Us. But even these fairly carefree and simple tasks can be difficult for Christopher. He was born with cerebral palsy and HIV (Immune System Breakdown). He has had to endure numerous heel cord surgeries to help him walk with less of a strain and he must take four medications daily to help suppress the symptoms of his immune disorder. Christopher must also visit the doctor’s office every three months for blood tests.
So when Wish Coordinator Terri McConn of Kids Wish Network heard about Christopher and his wish to go to Disney World to meet his favorite characters, Terri quickly got him an invitation for a play date. Not only would Christopher 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. “All the kids there have smiles on their faces,” said Robin, Christopher’s mother. “It’s like they can forget all of their pain while they are there.”
While at Give Kids the World, Christopher and his family ate at the resort’s whimsical restaurants and he absolutely loved riding the carousel. He was even eating at the ice cream parlor one night when the crew from Nickelodeon came to the village and asked if he wanted to get slimed. At first he said no, but soon he was on stage getting slimed with the help of his sisters. “He had green hair for a while, but he liked it,” Robin said. Christopher made sure to wake up early every morning to take advantage of the swimming pools and the Wacky Water Works; and at night Mayor Clayton, the villag’e mascot, even tucked him into bed.
During their vacation, the family enjoyed a full Orlando experience, visiting Walt Disney World theme parks, Universal Studios and Sea World. Christopher’s favorite part was meeting all the characters, like Goofy and Winnie the Pooh, and getting lots of hugs. All attractions were compliments of Give Kids the World and Kids Wish Network.
“We loved the whole thing, how the village was set up for the families,” said Robin. “Everyone everywhere was so nice.” On their last day in Florida, Christopher and his family visited the Magic Kingdom just as it began to pour down rain. “We were just having so much fun, we didn’t even care about the rain. We just laughed and enjoyed our last day there,” said Robin. “We were all exhausted, but no one wanted to leave.”
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.