Grand Prairie, TX – A young man with a life-threatening illness gets to visit the “aloha state” to watch the Pro Bowl in person.
At the age of one-and-a-half, Charles was diagnosed with sickle cell disease. This is a condition 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. Charles spends a lot of time in and out of the hospital and has had multiple blood diffusions.
When Charles’ family was contacted by a Kids Wish Network professional fundraiser, they knew that this was something special for their brave young man.
Once he got there, Charles was greeted with beautiful ladies bearing leis. He knew that this would an even better trip than he could have ever imagined; and he had barely stepped off of the plane! His mother, Jonnetta, said that “He was excited to swim in the ocean and he was able to do just that everyday. I haven’t seen Charles so excited about starting a day in such a long time,” she said.
At the Pro Bowl, Charles got to enjoy everything that happened during the All Star Block Party Waikiki and the official NFL Pro Bowl Tailgate Party including a “military challenge” and meet-n-greets with players from various NFL teams there to see the Pro Bowl and meeting some of the team mascots.
During the actual game, Charles cheered on his team, the NFC, sitting in seats extremely close to the field. Not only that, but his team won! This was definitely Charles’ day. In addition, he caught a glove thrown into the stands by an NFC player! What a fantastic souvenir!
Charles’ mother, Jonnetta says, “The trip has most definitely had a positive effect on Charles. I absolutely love to hear the excitement in his voice as he recalls his time in Hawaii and at the Pro Bowl. Charles gets to relive our time in Hawaii every time he talks to his friends and family members about the trip; he had such a great time.”
“Charles is going into the hospital next month to undergo a bone marrow transplant and this trip was so timely in that his spirits are so high that his anxiety about the transplant is a bit diminished.” To Kids Wish Network, Jonnetta says, “Thank you so very much for this experience, we are very grateful and appreciative of everything that was done to make this dream come true for Charles.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Charles’ wish come true: Alamo Rental Car, The Royal Garden at Waikiki, NFL, State Farm Insurance, Cheeseburger in Paradise, U.S.S. Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, California Pizza Kitchen, Don Ho’s Island Grill, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club.
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