BAY CITY, Mi. – A little girl with a life-threatening illness has the wish of her life with Kids Wish Network.
Four-year-old Jacklyn is a wonderful little girl with a very polite demeanor. She’s fun-loving and sweet with soft spots for “Sesame Street”, dolls and “The Wiggles.” Jackie is a delightful little princess who just loves playing outdoors in the warm sunshine.
Just last year, little Jackie was diagnosed with cerebellar pilocytic astrocytoma, which is a tumor on the right side of her brain. A few days after her diagnosis, Jackie went in for surgery to remove some of the mass. Due to a combination of the tumor and the surgery, Jackie is legally blind and partially paralyzed on the left side of her body. She endures chemotherapy once a week and physical therapy twice a week.
After being referred to Kids Wish Network through her grandmother, Jackie let Wish Coordinator, Jen, know about her one wish to visit Walt Disney World in Florida. Along with the assistance of Wish Funding Specialist, Megan, and some outstanding sponsors, Jen worked her “Guardian Angel” magic and set up an awesome family getaway for Jackie, her mom and her sister. This fabulous vacation included a stay at The Royal Plaza Hotel, dinner at the Pirates Dinner Adventure Theater and, of course, tickets to the Walt Disney World Resort and all of the other major Orlando theme parks!
Jen made sure that Jackie’s wish itinerary was booked with lots of fun things to experience, which made her mom, Jennifer, a little nervous about how it would all happen. “I was a little nervous at first,” she said. “But when we got there, everything just flowed so nicely.”
Jackie got the chance to visit Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, where she saw some of her favorite characters, including Pooh Bear, Tigger, Eeyore and even Snow White! Though she was a little shy, Jackie warmed right up when Snow White asked the name of the toy cat that’s Jackie’s constant companion. “Snow White was wonderful,” said Jennifer. “She made Jackie feel comfortable…she enjoyed herself.”
Though the amount of people and activities were a little overwhelming for the little girl, Jackie’s mom and sister were very happy to have some private family time outside of their house with their brave little girl. Jennifer said that “we had a lot of closeness and it was a great family time.”
“She’s [Jackie’s] been through a lot in the past fifteen months,” said Jennifer, recalling her daughter’s diagnosis and immediate surgery. “It was very nice to get away and not have to deal with everything we have had to deal with…it was just us three girls. We appreciate everything you guys [at Kids Wish Network] have done for us. You guys are great!”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Jacklyn’s wish extra special: Mayor Charles Brunner, Fraternal Order of Eagles #1010, Bay City Fraternal Order of Police, Compassion Partners, Pirates Dinner Adventure Theater, The Royal Plaza Hotel, California Pizza Kitchen, and WonderWorks.
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
Written by: Editorial Staff