RALEIGH – Amanda, age 11, of Raleigh, North Carolina, loves to sing, dance and watch her favorite show, TRL on MTV. Amanda is funny, intelligent and enjoys in-depth conversations. As a child, life was happy for her until August of 1999. A trip to the doctor revealed the unthinkable. Amanda was diagnosed with medullablastoma, a type of brain cancer, altering her life in so many ways.
Struggling with the effects of chemotherapy and radiation, Amanda felt weak, sometimes requiring a wheelchair, and subsequently had to be homeschooled. While she had a loving family and wonderful friends to keep her spirits up, Amanda was in need of a special dose of happiness. When Wish Coordinator Madeline Robinson of Kids Wish Network was contacted about this special girl, Madeline quickly went to work on creating a wish that she knew Amanda would absolutely love. Madeline would soon be sending Amanda and her family on a vacation to Florida to experience the fun of its many amusement parks, and to share special moments at Give Kids the World in Kissimmee, a magical resort full of laughter, joy and hugs, catering to the unique needs of families who have children with life threatening illnesses. Unfortunately, due to Amanda’s illness, at the last minute she was not able to go. However, Kids Wish Network stayed in contact with Amanda, and the following year was able to fulfill her only wish.
Leaving for Florida, Madeline sent for a limo to whisk Amanda and her family away to the airport, courtesy of Thorpe’s Limousine Service. They felt like celebrities, arriving in such grand style. It was the perfect beginning to such a wondrous trip. Once settled in at Give Kids the World, Amanda and her family ate at the resort’s whimsical restaurants and took part in all the fun-filled activities offered to all of its special guests. Amada said, “It was magically magnificent and splendidly spectacular!”
During their vacation, the family enjoyed a full Orlando experience, visiting Walt Disney World theme parks, Universal Studios and Sea World. “I had the best time of my life,” Amanda said, “especially while at Sea World.” All attractions were compliments of Kids Wish Network and Give Kids the World. American Airlines provided round trip airfare for Amanda and her entire family.
Knowing what a big fan Amanda was of MTV’s hit show TRL and sitcom “2gether,” MTV sent her a TRL backpack, T-shirts, autographed photos of the cast of 2gether, and an inspirational book by one of the show’s stars Michael Cuccione, who until recently, survived a life threatening illness.
While Amanda will still face the uncertain challenges of battling cancer, Amanda and her family will always cherish the wish they shared together, when everything was absolutely perfect – in “Amanda’s World.”
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.