Hemet, CA – 14-year-old William of Hemet is an easy-going and happy young boy with a friendly smile. This sweet-natured kid can usually be found spending time with his friends and playing video games. A huge basketball fan, William never misses the chance to cheer on his all-time favorite team, The Lakers! William also enjoys listening to music and collecting model cars. While in many ways, William is a typical teenager, there is something that makes him unique from his peers: William has a life-threatening illness.
William has sickle cell anemia, a disease in which the red blood cells created in the bone marrow produce an abnormal form of hemoglobin. These blood cells are crescent shaped and have a difficult time passing through the body’s blood vessels to reach the body’s tissues. Those suffering with this disease experience severe episodes of pain and eventual organ damage; they are also at high risk for stroke and cardiac arrest. William struggles daily with his disease and has been hospitalized countless time throughout his young life.
Recently, William enjoyed a very special day away from his worries for a precious while thanks to Kids Wish Network, an organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. William’s mother, Traci, learned about the charity and submitted his name. After completing the application process, she was delighted to learn that her brave son had been approved.
When Kids Wish Network wish coordinator, Vanessa, asked him for his number one wish, William didn’t hesitate: he wanted to go on a shopping spree!
Vanessa got right to work. She not only arranged for William’s big day at the Ontario Mills Mall, she was also able to garner the enthusiastic support of the folks at The Wishes for Children Foundation and PnR Foundation who were eager to help and who made a most generous donation to make William’s spree a day he will never forget.
However, before William’s exciting wish day even arrived, he was thrilled to receive a huge box packed to the brim with games, toys, dolls and other goodies courtesy of Vanessa and Kids Wish Network’s distribution center. Kids Wish Network’s distribution center is proud to be able to provide wish kids with top of the line products donated by some of America’s top toy and game manufacturers.
On the morning of the big day, William was stunned to see a sleek limousine arrive outside of his house, waiting to ferry him to the mall. But what was even more astonishing was that he was going to enjoy a personal escort from the Rough Riders, arranged by his friends at The Wishes for Children Foundation.
Once at the mall, William was greeted warmly by his benevolent sponsors who proceeded to present William with $1000 worth of gift cards. It was a moment that touched everyone’s heart. Charlie Pate, founder and president of The Wishes for Children Foundation, was deeply moved. “It was a day in which every one involved will remember for a life time. There was so much laughter, compassion and great joy, along with love spreading through out with William there.”
During his big afternoon shopping, there were few stores that William didn’t visit. In addition to brand new clothes, William picked out games, toys and a new Xbox game system.
William returned home from his big day tired but with plenty of wonderful memories – not to mention lots of bags and boxes of goodies. For this brave boy, it truly was a dream come true.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make William’s wish extra special: A & A Limousine Service, Dave and Busters, PnR Foundation and The Wishes for Children Foundation.
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