Dalton Swims into Smiles with Kids Wish Network

Hillsboro, IL – The Kids Wish Network grants a special wish to a local child with encephalopathy by sending him to Florida to swim with the dolphins.

Smiling is one of many things that eight-year-old Dalton can do extremely well. In fact, he does this so well that he won a smiling contest in his hometown. He loves to be around people (especially girls) and enjoys giving hugs all around. The only thing that gets this outgoing kid down is his illness.

At fifteen months of age, Dalton was diagnosed with Encephalopathy. This is a condition characterized by altered brain function and structure usually caused by diffuse brain disease. Doctors have not yet been able to determine the exact origin of the disease in Dalton and have been searching for years to uncover the cause of his condition. Dalton has difficulty speaking and uses a walker and braces to get around. He has undergone several spinal taps and MRIs amongst various other tests in an effort to discover the cause and proper treatment for his case, and done so with extreme courage.

Dalton’s mom, Angela was referred to Kids Wish Network by Dalton’s physician, and it wasn’t long before Kids Wish Network started working on Dalton’s very special wish – to swim with the dolphins! His wish coordinator, Vanessa Covolo, began making plans for a Florida getaway complete with glass bottom boat ride, aquarium visit and beach time as well as some one-on-one “get to know the dolphin” time, amongst other things.

His Wish Funding Specialist, Donna was fortunate to come across three very special ladies: Donna Yeske, Kendra McSperritt, and Cris Ernst, who coordinated fund raising efforts locally to ensure that Dalton had the best wish ever. Even The Hillsboro Journal-News donated advertising space!

After flying from Illinois to Miami, Dalton was all ready to have some real Florida fun. Dalton and his family had a “wonderful time” according to Dalton’s mother, Angela: “we had a lovely, lovely time.”

On Dalton’s big day, he started out a little nervous. “They (the dolphins) were just so big,” said his mother, but his dolphin, Leo, “was the cutest, sweetest thing” and “so patient” with Dalton. After that, Dalton even got a chance to go parasailing with his dad, which he really enjoyed, surprising both his parents and his older brother.

“Everyone was just so nice,” said Dalton’s mother. Nothing was missing and everything went smoothly. Dalton’s one wish came true and he had more fun than he could have ever known to ask for, thanks to Vanessa and the Kids Wish Network.

Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Dalton’s wish come true: Donna Yeske, Kendra McSperritt, Cris Ernst, The Hillsboro Journal-News, First Community Bank, Alamo Car Rental, Key Largo Grande Resort and Beach Club, Jacobs Aquatic Center, Chili Willie’s Grill & Pub, Key Largo Princess Glass Bottom Boat, The Galley of Key Largo, Dolphin Cove, Key Largo Conch House, and Miami Sea Aquarium.

Kids Wish Network is a nationally recognized non-profit organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children. If you know a child between the ages of 3 and 18 who may be in need of its wish granting services, please call 727-937-3600 or toll free 888-918-9004. For more information on Kids Wish Network, visit their website at www.kidswishnetwork.org

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48,632 kids helped this last fiscal year through our many programs and services.

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Kids Wish Network is a charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations. Kids Wish Network assists children and their families through several key programs.