BYRON –“No matter what, there’s always someone with something worse than what Amanda has,” said Diane. However, when one learns of Rett Syndrome, the rare neurological condition that has stricken her daughter Amanda, it’s difficult to imagine things could be much worse. Now 12, Amanda was diagnosed at age three with this condition that affects only females and causes a loss of communication skills and movement of the hands. Confinement to a wheelchair, severe scoliosis, and night seizures are just a few more of the complications of this debilitating disease. “It’s almost impossible to know how much she understands,” said Diane. Despite not always knowing how her daughter feels, Diane said that she has gotten good at sensing Amanda’s emotions. “It’s like her eyes are talking to me because I can read them so well,” she said.
Knowing what the family was dealing with, a neighbor of Diane’s who was familiar with Kids Wish Network, a charity that grants wishes for children with life threatening illnesses, submitted Amanda’s name to the organization. In no time, Wish Coordinator Madeline Robinson was flipping through all the possible channels to get Amanda her only wish: a new TV and VCR. “The movement of sporting events or the sound of musicals is like therapy, it stimulates her brain,” said Diane about why the TV will be so significant to her daughter. Reaching out to the community for support, Madeline soon found what she was looking for from the Owosso Eagles Aerie Lodge #851. The wonderful civic group didn’t just agree to help with Amanda’s wish; it sponsored the entire thing.
Very soon Amanda will be enjoying her new 32-inch television and brand new VCR. After receiving her dream, Amanda will be able to do the one thing she enjoys the most: watch her animated friends and listen to music. “She was never able to walk, and she can’t play with toys or anything, so this will mean a lot to her,” Diane said about the wish. “When the music from a movie starts or she hears something from NSYNC on TV, I can just see the expression on her face; it’s wonderful. It’s what makes her 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.
******Note to media :
As a member of the media, you are invited to join Amanda on her big day, Friday, May 31, 2002, at 12 p.m. when the Owosso Eagles will present her with her brand new television and VCR. Be a part of the excitement and see firsthand the magic a wish can bring to a sick child. For an address and directions to Amanda’s house please call Wish Coordinator Madeline Robinson of Kids Wish Network at (813) 891-9374.