Loudonville, OH – 16-year-old Arron of Loudonville is a friendly teen who can usually be found playing video games or listening to country music. An exceptional student, Aaron says his favorite subject in school is science. Aaron is also a huge football fan and never misses the chance to cheer on his home team of Ohio State. While in many ways, Arron is a typical teenager, there is something that makes him unique from his peers: Arron lives with a very serious heart condition.
Aaron was diagnosed several years ago with familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This is a genetic disorder that leads to increased growth in the thickness of the wall of the left ventricle of the heart. It is an extremely serious condition. Aaron must avoid any type of physical activities and must take daily heart medications. He will also likely need a pacemaker and perhaps even a heart transplant in the future.
Not long ago, one of Arron’s teachers referred him to Kids Wish Network, an organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. The charity contacted his dad, Bart, who promptly began the application process. Before long, Bart received the good news: Arron had been approved for a wish. Arron knew just what he wanted to do: he wanted to go to New York City.
Arron’s Kids Wish Network wish coordinator, Jill, quickly began working to make his wish an extra special one. She not only secured airline tickets to New York for the family, she also booked hotel accommodations, arranged for fun activities in the Big Apple, provided spending money and more. Before he knew it, Arron was on a plane headed for Manhattan.
Soon after arriving in New York, Arron and his family checked into the beautiful and historic Roosevelt Hotel. With an itinerary full of things to do however, Arron didn’t spend much time in his suite. He was ready to start exploring.
First on his list was a nearly six hour tour of the city courtesy of New York Party Shuttle Tour where he hit just about every major landmark and tourist attraction. Later, Arron checked out the dazzling sites of Times Square and that evening enjoyed a delicious dinner at Planet Hollywood where, said Bart, he was treated like a celebrity. “They were wonderful at Planet Hollywood!”
On another lovely evening in the city, Arron set out on a scenic dinner cruise where he took in the magnificent New York skyline. And what visit to New York is complete without Broadway? Arron had an absolute blast seeing his first ever Broadway show, Grease.
Some other highlights of Arron’s trip included shopping in the city, strolling in Central Park and dining at some of Manhattan’s most well-known eateries including Tavern on the Green and the ESPN Zone. The most important part of Arron’s trip however, was his visit to the Ground Zero Museum.
Bart said that ever since the tragedy of the September 11th attacks, Arron has wanted to go to New York. “He really wanted to come and show his respect. That was the main reason he wanted to go to New York.” Jill arranged for Arron to visit the Ground Zero Museum Workshop. Upon arrival at the museum, Arron was greeted warmly and then took a quiet and reflective tour, looking through photographs and museum artifacts. Bart noted that it was an emotional experience for Arron. “He did well but it was overwhelming too.”
Bart said that the entire trip meant the world to his son. “It was an absolutely wonderful trip. He was so happy!” Bart was also incredibly grateful to Jill and Kids Wish Network. “Jill was great! I don’t think we’ll ever forget this. It was the best thing Arron’s ever done!”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Arron’s wish extra special: Central Park Carriage, Cinema The Brasserie, ESPN Zone, Ground Zero Museum Workshop, Nederlander Alliances, NY Party Shuttle Tours, Planet Hollywood, Platforma Churrascaria, Pop Burger, Radio City Music Hall, Ripley’s Believe it Or Not Museum, The Roosevelt Hotel, Spirit Cruises, Tavern on the Green, Top of The Rock, U.S. Limousine Service and UNO Chicago Grill, Loudonville Lions Club, Perrysville Lions Club, and the Loudonville Eagles.