Kelcey, a spirited and outgoing 12-year-old loves listening to S Club 7, playing with her dogs, Ruby, Runt and Darling and playing the flute in her school band. She is determined to live her life to the fullest despite the fact that she has cerebral palsy, an illness that she was diagnosed with in her first year of life. Last year Kelcey underwent surgery, and soon faces another operation to release the muscles in her leg. Kelcey also undergoes rigorous physical therapies to try and delay the characteristics of her debilitating disease that will eventually confine her to a wheelchair. She is well aware of the affects that cerebral palsy will have on her body after seeing what it has done to her twin sister who is already in a wheelchair. More than anything, Kelcey wished for a vacation to the scenic island of Honolulu so that she could experience horseback riding on the beach and swimming in Hawaii’s turquoise waters while she is well enough to enjoy it.
When Wish Coordinator Terri McConn of Kids Wish Network was contacted about Kelcey and her wish to visit Hawaii, faster than Kelcey could say aloha, Terri had her family packing their bags and heading for Honolulu. But even before they were on their way, Terri sent Kelcey a gift package filled with goodies, including a Hawaiian shirt, beach bag, camera and a special autographed cd by S Club 7. At first glance, Kelcey thought the CD she received was just like the one that she already had, but to her delight she soon noticed that it was autographed just for her. Kelcey’s mother Sue said she excitedly exclaimed, “How did they get this done for me?” Even though Kelcey was already overjoyed, the best part of her wish was still to come.
Kelcey and her family stayed at the Kuilima Estates on the grounds of the Turtle Bay Resort, a condominium on Oahu’s North Shore. “We enjoyed the pool, beaches and fabulous beach waves,” said her mother. Kelcey’s favorite experience was taking a horseback riding adventure along the beaches, scenic mountains and swaying palm trees. “It was so incredible,” said her mother. She told me, ‘Momma, I can ride a horse now!’” Kelcey also admired another kind of scenery in Hawaii – boys. Kelcey said, “There are a lot of cute boys there, but I’d drop them all in a second for the one that I have back home!”
The family had a full Hawaiian experience dining and dancing aboard a relaxing dinner cruise on the Star of Honolulu and attending the Paradise Cove Luau, a celebration with tiki torches, Hawaiian dancers and a Hawaiian feast. Sue said, “The luau was wonderful, everyone had such a good time. Kelcey’s stepfather even got up on stage to learn the hula.”
Kelcey’s mother said, “My most memorable image was watching all three of my girls in the ocean with smiles on their faces. It was like they were little kids again.” She also said, “Kelcey learned not to give up on her dreams, that sometimes they are possible.” Any time that she is feeling down, Kelcey can always escape back to the sights, scents and sounds of swaying palm trees, exotic scented flowers and ocean waves, when everything in her life was straight out of a postcard, in her own picture perfect paradise.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank its gracious sponsors: Kuilima Estates, The Turtle Bay Resort, Paradise Cove Luau, Paradise Cruise Limited, Dollar Rent a Car, American Airlines and S Club 7 for making Kelcey’s wish a dream 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 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.