CODEN – Medication, physical and speech therapy, and endless doctors appointments; most adults would have difficulty dealing with any of these things. But this is six-year-old Angelica’s life. This beautiful little girl suffers from cerebral palsy, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and an involuntary eye condition known as nystagmus. The cerebral palsy makes it difficult for her to walk and puts her at risk of falling; the OCD makes her a danger to herself at times. However, despite all her daily battles, her mother Betty said that Angelica is a friendly, loving and outgoing child who just wants to learn. “If there’s something she wants to do, then she’s going to do it,” Betty said.
When Angelica’s grandmother heard about Kids Wish Network, a charity that grants wishes for children with life threatening illnesses, she told Betty to submit her daughter’s name for a wish. Soon Wish Coordinator Luisa Frederiksen computed a way to make Angelica’s dream of having her very own personal computer a dream come true. “She used one in her Kindergarten class to start to learn the alphabet, and it helped her a lot,” Betty said of why her daughter desired her own computer. Not only did Luisa hook her up with a PC, but she also provided her with a printer, speakers, Internet access, and 12 months of the online learning system, Clever Island. “She loves it,” said Betty. “She’s learning how to use it a little every day. She really likes drawing with it.”
However, Luisa decided this youngster deserved more than just the computer. Upon getting to know Angelica and her family, Luisa discovered that although she had been in Kindergarten for the entire year, Angelica had not been invited to participate in the graduation ceremony with the other kids in her class or given her diploma. Knowing how important it was to Angelica to graduate like her classmates, Luisa placed a call to Mayor Stanwrite of Bayou Labatre and explained the situation. “He immediately wanted to help,” said Luisa. Together, they devised a plan to get this little girl her sheepskin.
Soon, Angelica received a special invitation to her very own graduation ceremony. At an upcoming Bayou Labatre City Council meeting, Angelica will be allowed to walk in front of a crowd and accept her diploma from the Mayor himself. And to make the day even more memorable, Luisa arranged for a limo from Quality Limousines to chauffer Angelica and her family to the pomp and circumstance. “I was shocked when she told me what she had arranged,” said Betty. “I almost cried. The whole family is so excited to be there and see it all. Angelica asked if she could get a new dress and shoes for the occasion; she wants to look nice for her big day.”
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.
******Note to media:
As a member of the media, you are invited to join Angelica on her big day, Thursday, June 27, 2002, at 7 p.m. when the Mayor will present her with diploma. Be a part of the excitement and see firsthand the magic a wish can bring to a sick child. For more information about Angelica’s wish and her graduation day, please call Wish Coordinator Luisa Frederiksen of Kids Wish Network at (813) 891-9374.