West Allis, WI – Joseph is a spunky and outgoing 11-year-old with a friendly disposition. This special kid is crazy about Mickey Mouse and loves to spend his free time playing with his very own electric guitar. Joseph also enjoys watching television, especially Full House – his all-time favorite T.V. star is John Stamos!
Recently, this incredible kid, who has spina bifida, enjoyed an exciting trip to Florida courtesy of his friends at Kids Wish Network, an organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. Making his trip even more memorable was a chat Joseph had with a surprise caller.
Joseph’s adventure to the Sunshine State began soon after his mother, Katie, learned about Kids Wish Network while surfing the Internet. Born with spina bifida, a neural tube defect that occurs when the spinal column fails to close completely, Joseph struggles daily with his condition. He has endured over 37 surgeries so far in his young life including procedures on his spine and back. In addition, Joseph has hydrocephalus, which causes fluid to build up around his brain. Joseph is confined to a wheelchair and takes daily medications for a breathing disorder.
When Kids Wish Network Wish Coordinator, Vanessa, asked Joseph what he wanted most for his wish, he didn’t hesitate: he wanted to go to Disney World.
Vanessa quickly began making all the arrangements. In addition to arranging for Joseph and his family to fly to sunny Orlando, she also booked hotel accomodations, arranged for theme park tickets and more. It would prove to be a trip this courageous kid will not soon forget!
Joseph took full advantage of everything that Vanessa had planned for him. He had a blast visiting Universal Studios and Sea World and absolutely loved the time he spent at the Magic Kingdom where he got to hobnob with some of his favorite Disney characters in person.
Vanessa also arranged for some special family dinners. One evening in particular stands out in Joseph’s mind. That was the night he received a surprise phone call while dining at Mimi’s Café. The caller was none other than Full House and ER star, John Stamos, himself. Katie said the restaurant arranged the call after learning that John Stamos was Joseph’s favorite star. The actor was more than happy to give his young fan a call.
“Joe was so excited,” laughed Katie. The two chatted for a little while with Joseph asking John what he was up to. “He told him he was in California working on a new show for ER,” said Katie. Joe proceeded to tell John about how many doctors he knew in real life and how many surgeries he’s had. The star then promised Joe an autographed picture was in the mail and in turn, Joe informed John that he would be getting a picture too. Katie said it was a wonderful surprise. “It was just great!”
On his final day in Florida, Joseph and his family headed to Cocoa Beach. Katie said the entire group had a blast. “They all loved it! It was a really nice time.”
Katie was incredibly grateful to Vanessa and Kids Wish Network for all that they did for her special son. “We were speechless. It was an awesome time!”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Joseph’s wish extra special: California Pizza Kitchen, Compassion Program, Mimi’s Café, Orlando Sunshine Resort II, pirates Dinner Adventure Theater and Wonderworks and of course, Mr. John Stamos!
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