CARTHAGE – Savanna is a sweet and shy 6-year-old who loves playing with her Barbies, coloring and watching her favorite character Angelica in the Rugrats Movie. Savanna just celebrated her sixth birthday, but is wise beyond her years. “She is always around adults and is quite mature for her age,” said her mother Terri. “She has had to grow up faster than most children.”
At birth, Savanna was diagnosed with Epidermolysis bullosa, a condition in which the skin becomes blistered and raw from minor trauma or friction. Blistering has caused a narrowing of her esophagus, making it difficult for her to swallow food. Because of this, Savanna can only eat liquid nourishment or very soft foods. Scarring can also cause deformities to hands and feet. Savanna must wear bandages on her lower legs around the clock, and frequently requires her hands and other parts of her body to be bandaged as well. To help her get around, Savanna uses a wheelchair and power chair, and has the assistance of a school nurse to help her with some of her daily activities. Her mother said, “Savanna handles her illness better than I do.”
When Wish Coordinator Madeline Robinson of Kids Wish Network was contacted about Savanna’s wish of having a computer to play games and create art, Madeline quickly computed how to give Savanna the computer of her dreams.
To get Savanna warmed up for her upcoming wish, Madeline sent her a large gift package filled with all of her favorite things, including art supplies, cds, clothing, jewelry, stuffed animals, a camera, Barbie dolls, frames and all kinds of fun accessories. The best part was that her real wish was still to come. When the computer quickly arrived at her house, it made a grand entrance arriving in time for her sixth birthday. “She was so excited,” said her mother. “She didn’t have a clue that she was being surprised with the computer on her birthday.” Savanna also received a printer and Internet access for a year.
Now that Savanna has her very own computer she can always spark her creative imagination and have fun even if she is lacking playful energy. But most of all, Savanna can enjoy just being a kid – in the playground of her mind.
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.