Norfolk, NE – An incredibly special young boy from Norfolk recently enjoyed the experience of a lifetime thanks to his friends at Kids Wish Network, an organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. 15-year-old Tyson, who has muscular dystrophy, couldn’t believe it when his wish to meet his NASCAR idol, Kevin Harvick, came true.
In March of 2006, Tyson was diagnosed with a condition known as limb girdle muscular dystrophy. LGMD primarily affects the muscles around the legs, arms and hips. Over a period of time, those who suffer with LGMD lose muscle mass and strength. Tyson is experiencing increasing difficulty with his mobility and at times must use a wheelchair. He also experiences a great deal of pain.
Tyson’s mother, Krista, learned about Kids Wish Network from a close family relative and was hopeful that he would qualify for a wish with the charity. After learning that it was possible Tyson might be eligible for a wish due to his condition, Krista immediately submitted his name. It wasn’t long before the family received the good news: Tyson had been approved.
Kids Wish Network wish coordinator, Vanessa, called Tyson and asked him the big question: what was his number one wish? Tyson didn’t hesitate: this hardcore NASCAR fan wanted to meet his favorite racer, Kevin Harvick, in person.
Vanessa immediately got to work. She not only arranged for airfare for Tyson and his family to Los Angeles, she also booked hotel accomodations for them and sent them spending money. Most importantly however, she secured tickets to the NASCAR race in L.A. and a very special meet and greet with Tyson and Kevin Harvick.
The big day arrived early for Tyson when he and his family met Vanessa in the lobby of their hotel at 7:30 a.m. on the morning of the race. The sleepy gang headed promptly out to the California Speedway. Tyson was jubilant: he couldn’t believe he would soon be meeting his idol.
Before he knew it, Tyson was right outside of Kevin Harvick’s motor coach. The driver and his young fan hit it right off, laughing, chatting and posing for pictures. Krista said Kevin was incredibly nice. “He was so friendly. He just talked and talked like he’d known us forever.” Tyson was equally at ease with his hero. The two chatted for a long time about racing and go karts. Tyson, who used to race go karts before he was diagnosed with MD, presented Kevin with a card he had made up with pictures of him with his go kart. His go kart was even painted red and yellow, and numbered 29, just like Kevin’s.
After the meet and greet was over, the family headed over to watch the race. “It was awesome,” said Krista.
Krista said that the entire experience was one Tyson will never, ever forget. “It was so much fun for him. There was so much we got to do and see.” She was incredibly grateful to Vanessa and Kids Wish Network for organizing the unforgettable trip. “Everything was just wonderful!”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Tyson’s wish come true: California Pizza Kitchen, California Speedway, Enterprise Rental Car, Exquisite Limo and Sedan, Hard Rock Café, Metrolink, Omaha Magnolia Hotel, The Standard, Universal Studios, and of course, Mr. Kevin Harvick.
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