Watertown, SD – Kids Wish Network recently granted a wish of a lifetime to eleven-year-old Haley, who suffers from intractable epilepsy.
Haley is a sweet, artistic girl who enjoys painting and drawing. Her favorite toys are her princess dolls, and she’s a big fan of Hannah Montana. She likes to collect all kinds of things related to the Wizard of Oz, and she loves Scooby Doo. In fact, more than anything in the world, her wish was to go to Disney World and Universal Studios to meet Scooby Doo in person.
Haley got to do just that, as one of Kids Wish Network’s “wish kids.” Haley started having seizures when she was five years old. Although she has taken a lot of medications to try and control them, none have helped and she continues to have seizures each day. Doctors have surgically implanted a relatively new device called a vagus nerve stimulator that has shown some promise in controlling seizures for kids like Haley, but it may take some time for it to begin helping her.
One of Haley’s family members told Haley’s mother, JoAnne, about Kids Wish Network, a charitable organization that grants wishes to children who are facing life-threatening illnesses. After a phone call to the organization, Haley was assigned to her wish coordinator, Jill, who set out to grant Haley’s wish. With the help of some special sponsors, Jill was able to make her trip to Florida extra special by providing her with tickets to Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot Center, Hollywood Studios, SeaWorld, and Universal Studio’s Islands of Adventure, and that’s not all!
The family enjoyed their stay at the Regal Sun Resort, and Haley loved swimming at the hotel’s fantastic pool. Their room overlooked Downtown Disney, and they even got to watch Epcot Center’s fireworks spectacular from their window one night. Haley enjoyed two special treats that Jill arranged for her: WonderWorks, an amusement park for the mind with over 100 interactive exhibits, and the Pirates Dinner Adventure, “the world’s most unique interactive dinner show.”
Haley had a great time on the rides at the parks, especially the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and the Spiderman ride, but the highlights of her trip were meeting Scooby Doo at Universal Studios, and having breakfast with Goofy and Pluto at her hotel.
JoAnne described the adventure as “a trip of a lifetime. “Haley had an awesome time. Everybody was so nice at the parks and restaurants and at the hotel. I’m so glad she got to go!”
For families dealing with a child who has a condition like intractable epilepsy, doctor visits and therapy appointments often take priority over fun. Haley’s trip was a welcomed respite and allowed her to just enjoy being a kid for a change. Kids Wish Network is happy to have helped this young girl have such a wonderful experience in Florida.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Haley’s wish extra special: Chili’s, Lake Area Radio Klub, Ramada Minneapolis Airport West, Codington County Post #17 American Legion, Chick-Fil-A, Compassion Partners, WonderWorks, Pirates Dinner Adventure and the Regal Sun Resort.
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