GULFPORT – Teenagers are full of boundless energy and are eager to experience life as a young adult. For Twanhee, a 13-year old diagnosed with sickle cell, life is very different. Sickle cell has drained her of all childhood energies. Her life has been a series of blood transfusions, medications and constant hospitalizations. The extreme pain that she feels in her back, arms and legs keeps her from doing the things that most teens take for granted. While most kids love playing sports, Twanhee’s favorite pastimes are watching television, seeing movies and listening to the radio.
Through a twist of fate, a Kids Wish Network professional telephone fundraiser happened to contact Twanhee’s mother Shirann and asked if she knew of a sick child in need of a special wish. A Kids Wish Network Wish Coordinator spoke with Twanhee and found out that like most girls, she loves shopping for clothes. Quicker than Twanhee could say “charge it”, her coordinator contacted the Kiwanis Club of Gulfport who eagerly agreed to sponsor a sizeable portion of Twanhee’s wish, a shopping spree at the Edgewater Mall. She also enlisted the help of a few more local organizations and stores to make the shop-a-thon complete.
And to make sure Twanhee arrives in style for her shopping extravaganza, Gulfport Fire Chief Pat Sullivan is going to give her an official escort to the mall by the on a fire engine!
Ever concerned with their citizens’ safety, the firefighters will then usher Twanhee into the mall to meet her Kids Wish Network volunteer, Judge Robin Midcalf, who will accompany this special young lady on her dream spree and make sure that everything runs smoothly for her big day. This wish is sure to be like medicine for Twanhee, allowing her the chance to be a normal, mall-crazy teenage girl, and letting the burdens of her illness melt away for a short time.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank all of the gracious sponsors that helped make Twanhee’s wish a dream come true: Kiwanis Club of Gulfport, the Edgewater Sunrisers Rotary Club, Dillard’s and The Rainbow of Edgewater Mall, Ruby Tuesday of Gulfport, Judge Robin Midcalf, Fire Chief Pat Sullivan and the Gulfport Fire Department.
Twanhee’s highly anticipated wish will take place on Saturday, May 18, 2002. For more information, contact Shelley at (888) 918-9004.
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.