Greenville, IL- Ten-year-old Daniel of Greenville is nuts about the Transformers. It’s his all-time favorite movie and he cherishes his Transformers toys. He also likes coloring and playing games on his Nintendo DS. Daniel collects rocks and absolutely loves soccer. While in many ways, Daniel is a typical kid, there is something that he struggles with daily that other kids his age don’t have to worry about: Daniel has a life-threatening illness.
Daniel has celiac disease, a lifelong autoimmune intestinal disorder. The disease causes damage to the small intestine and interferes with the absorption of nutrients. Long term complications of this disorder include anemia, risk for hemorrhaging, intestinal cancer and thyroid disease. It can also lead to a serious metabolic disorder which is what has happened to Daniel. He must endure daily injections and must adhere to a very strict diet.
Recently, this courageous boy was able to temporarily forget all about his problems during an exciting visit to California. Daniel’s special trip came courtesy of Kids Wish Network, an organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. Daniel’s mother, Tammy, learned about the organization after being contacted by one of Kids Wish Network’s professional fundraisers.
After Daniel was approved for a wish, he had to decide what he wanted. It didn’t take long for Daniel to make up his mind: he wanted to visit Legoland in California.
Kids Wish Network Wish Coordinator, Jill, took care of all the details including airfare for the family of five to San Diego, hotel accomodations at the posh La Costa Resort and Spa, tickets to Legoland and more.
The adventure began soon after checking into the hotel. “The hotel was awesome!” said Tammy. “The word out of my boys’ mouths was ‘paradise’,” she laughed. As much as he loved the hotel however, Daniel was ready to head to Legoland.
Tammy said the theme park was a huge hit with the entire family. Daniel had a blast riding the rides and checking out all of the shows and attractions. “We had so much fun there!”
In addition to passes to Legoland, Jill also arranged for the family to visit Sea World on Daniel’s birthday followed by a delicious birthday dinner at the Hard Rock Café.
Tammy said that while it was hard to come back home, she’ll treasure the memories the family shared during Daniel’s wish trip. And it meant the world to her to see Daniel take time away from the stress of worrying about doctor visits and being sick. “For once in his life, he was just able to be a kid. It was all about, ‘Let’s just have fun!’ It was wonderful!”
Tammy was incredibly grateful to Jill and Kids Wish Network for making Daniel’s dream come true. “Jill was the most awesome wish coordinator ever! Everything she did was so genuine and heartfelt, and we were so grateful for all of her hard work. I don’t have enough words to say how appreciative we are. The smiles on my kids’ faces were better than a million dollars!”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Daniel’s wish extra special: American Legion – Edwardsville, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Eagles – McCleansboro, Eagles – Olney, Frontier Airlines, Greenville Free Methodist Church, Hard Rock Café, Hertz Rent A Car, La Costa Resort and Spa, Knights of Columbus – Highland, Legoland, Moose Lodge #1561, Outback Steakhouse, Ruby’s Diner, Sea World, VFW – Du Quoin, and Whole Foods Market.