LEBANON, TN – The mother of six-year-old Cera says her daughter is a “worrier.” Unfortunately, the kindergartener has sufficient reason for all her concerns. Cera suffers from a multitude of conditions greatly limiting her dream of being a “normal” child.
Cera’s medical records are a nightmarish laundry list of debilitating afflictions. She has Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome, a neurological disorder, which causes pain and fatigue throughout the body. She wears braces on her legs and must use a wheelchair for distances beyond 20 feet. She has severe scoliosis, which will require back surgery that will leave her immobile for at least a year. In addition, Cera, an asthmatic, was born with only one lung, and has abnormal kidney and bladder function.
“You wouldn’t believe the worry she has,” says Cera’s mother, Jamie. “She can’t go outside and play like everybody else. She pretty much has to stay inside. She gets tired and has to sit and rest. She tries to be like every child, but of course she can’t. She wants to know why God made her different, and if she’ll be healthy when she goes to heaven.”
When Kids Wish Network heard Cera’s story they stepped in to give this deserving young lady a much-needed retreat from her world of worries. Kids Wish Network sent Cera to “Give Kids the World Village,” a special Kissimmee, Fla.-based resort catering to the needs of children who suffer from life threatening illnesses. Cera and her family spent seven days in Kissimmee where they visited Disney World and many other kid-themed attractions. A major highlight for Cera was meeting her beloved idol Scooby Doo at Universal Studios.
“Every wish she could have ever wanted was granted,” Jamie said. “She got to go on all the rides at the parks. It was first-class treatment and she was the Queen Bee. Cera was smiling so much. It was a definite self-esteem booster, and a dream come true. We didn’t have a care in the world for a whole week.”
Cera’s family connected with Kids Wish Network after Jamie heard about the non-profit organization from the mother of Daniel, a wish recipient who had a dream fulfilled last year. “I heard how good their trip went,” Jamie said. “That’s why I wanted Cera to go with Kids Wish Network.”
Wish coordinator Luisa Frederiksen jumped on Cera’s case and found donations and discounts from the Salvation Army and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. “Cera’s enthusiasm for going on the trip was the driving force that kept me motivated to get her there as soon as possible,” Frederiksen said.
“We’re looking at some rocky roads ahead with the back surgery, “ Jamie said. “She’s not going to be able to walk for a year. That’s why I’m so glad to have had the wish now. Cera got to do everything she ever wanted to do.”
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.