CARTHAGE-Running, jumping, and getting into general mischief is what the life of a typical seven-year-old should be like. But for Kyle, life is anything but fun and carefree. This sweet little boy was born with cerebral palsy and epilepsy. He is unable to communicate except through pointing, and until recently, he had to use a walker to get around. But no matter what he must struggle with each day, all it takes to make him smile is a country music song, a Bugs Bunny cartoon, or a monster truck race. “He’s just so happy all the time,” said his mother Frances. “He always has a smile on his face. Even when he’s getting poked by all the needles at the doctor’s office, he’ll blow kisses to all the nurses when they’re done.”
So when a Wish Coordinator from Kids Wish Network heard about Kyle and his wish to go to Disney World for some fun in the sun, she quickly put together a trip beyond his wildest dreams. Not only would Kyle 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, a magical resort full of laughter, joy and hugs, catering to the special needs of families who have children with life threatening illnesses. “It was great,” said Frances. “We were worn out from all of the activities there.”
While at Give Kids the World, Kyle and his family ate at the resort’s whimsical restaurants and he absolutely loved dancing at the village’s Castle of Miracles. “One night a live band came to the village and Kyle was on the dance floor for hours,” Frances said. “He doesn’t have a lot of balance because he just recently started walking, so he danced with the entertainment coordinator all night long. He was the center of attention and wore that wonderful woman out.” The band even found out that Kyle’s father is a musician, so they convinced him to join them on the drums. “Kyle thought that was so cool.”
During their vacation, Kyle and his family enjoyed a full Orlando experience, visiting Walt Disney World theme parks, Universal Studios and Sea World. Kyle’s favorite part was visiting Playhouse Disney where he saw acts like “Bear in the big Blue House” perform and he also enjoyed seeing “Barney Live” at Universal Studios. “Kyle danced, clapped and sang through all the shows,” said Frances. “He put his arms all the way around Barney when he met him.” All attractions were compliments of Give Kids the World and Kids Wish Network.
“Words just cannot describe how wonderful the entire experience was and how great the people were with Kyle,” said Frances. “The staff would come eat with him everyday and show him so much attention. The only time he didn’t smile on the trip was when it was time to go in at night for bed; he just wanted to keep having fun. I will always remember seeing him so happy.”
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.