COLORADO SPRINGS-Sixteen is a fun age for most kids. Whether they are learning to drive a car or starting to date, life is full of possibilities and excitement. But for 16-year-old Kacee, things are much more solemn. She suffers from a rare form of muscular dystrophy, fibromyalgia and scoliosis. She is in a state of constant pain, is losing her vision, and struggles to walk for long periods of time. “No one can believe how much medication she’s on and how much pain she’s in because she is always pushing herself to keep trying,” said her mother, Carol. And even through all of her own problems, Kacee is always willing to go out of her way to help other people and animals.
So when Carol saw an article about Kids Wish Network in the Muscular Dystrophy Newsletter, she contacted the charity about her special daughter. After learning about Kacee, a Wish Coordinator quickly combined her love of animals with her wish of going to Disney World. Not only would Kacee and her family get to enjoy Disney and other exciting Orlando amusement parks, but before their adventure began, her Wish Coordinator made a few well-placed phone calls. In no time, Kacee had a special delivery from her favorite TV personality, “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin. She received videos, stuffed animals, a hat and autographed photos of Steve and his wife. “We couldn’t believe all the trouble Kids Wish Network went to in order to get her that package from him,” said Carol. “Kacee won’t even throw away the wrapping it came in.” soon
And then it was off to sunny Florida, compliments of American Airlines, where Kacee would be staying at Give Kids the World, a special resort catering to the needs of children who suffer with life threatening illnesses. “There was so much to do at the village, but we tried to spend most of our time at all the parks,” said Carol. Kacee’s absolute favorite place was Disney’s Animal Kingdom. “She loved it so much she wanted to go there twice,” her mother said. “She just loves animals so much, and at Sea World she got to pet the dolphins and at Universal she loved watching the Animal Planet show and seeing the dogs do tricks.” After it was over, Kacee was even invited down to pet the Collie that starred in the show and to take pictures with it. “She was treated like royalty everywhere,” Carol said.
“Everyday there was filled with something nice,” her mother said. She said Kacee is always in so much pain, but that she didn’t want to miss out on anything. “We stayed at all the parks until they closed. She had an absolutely great time, it’s almost like her pain waited for her trip to be over to really affect her.” Carol said the only sad part of the trip was when it was over because their time went by so fast. “I wish it was longer! We couldn’t have squeezed anymore in if we tried,” she said. “Kacee deserved a week away from everything; no other words come to mind other than it was just magnificent. We thank Kids Wish Network for everything because without them it would never have happened.”
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.