Paw Paw, MI- A young girl diagnosed with neurofibromatosis gets the wish of a lifetime when she’s sent to Disney World, courtesy of Kids Wish Network.
In 2000, thirteen-year-old Kayla was diagnosed with a condition known as neurofibromatosis. This condition causes tumors to grow anywhere on or in the body. It can also lead to enlargement and deformation of the bones and scoliosis. Kayla struggles daily with a number of complications of the disease. She has a tumor wrapped around her liver and one that grew on her chest wall resulting in scar tissue on her lungs. Kayla is on various medications and must be monitored carefully by her doctors. Despite all of the pain and discomfort she endures, Kayla is one of the most kind-hearted young ladies you will ever meet. Her bright eyes and beautiful smile convey this to everyone she meets and every animal she pets. Speaking of animals, Kayla’s gentle nature has lead to a desire to become a veterinary assistant.
This special girl was given the chance to have her fondest wish granted when her physician informed her mother about the Kids Wish Network. When her family referred Kayla, she was assigned to Wish Coordinator, Jen, who knew exactly how to make Kayla’s wish to visit the theme parks in Florida extra special. With a good amount of “guardian angel magic,” Jen organized a fun-filled Florida adventure complete with days at Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World. “We couldn’t ask for anyone better,” said Kayla’s mom, Kathy, about Wish Coordinator, Jen. “She’s always so helpful and friendly…she answered all of our questions. I feel like I’ve known her for years!”
“It was really wonderful,” said Kayla’s mother about the wish. “Everyone treated Kayla really well!” The best part of the trip came when Kayla was escorted to the dolphin pool at Sea World and had the chance to pet the dolphins. The interaction with the intelligent animals was something that Kayla will treasure for years to come. Another highlight of the wish came when she got her picture taken with Scooby Doo at Universal Studios: “He’s her favorite character!”
According to Kayla’s mother, Kathy, “It was nice just not having to go to the doctor every day.” “It’s hard enough being a teenager as it is,” said Kathy, and now Kayla had the chance to be just a normal teenager on her Orlando getaway. Both Kayla and Kathy can’t thank Kids Wish Network enough for granting Kayla’s wish: “Everybody there’s been amazing!” Kayla had the chance to be a “regular kid” and now her family has plenty of joyous memories to draw from, thanks to Kids Wish Network.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Kayla’s wish come true: WalMart #3476, Sam’s Club #8170, Welch Foods, Inc., VFW #6248, Lions Club, Royal Plaza Hotel, WonderWorks, Compassion Partners, Pirates Dinner Adventure, California Pizza Kitchen, Cheesecake Factory, Unlimited Diabetic Supplies Corp. and Park Ride & Fly, Chicago Midway.