GLADWIN, Mich. – A little girl with a life-threatening illness has the wish of her life with Kids Wish Network.
After two consecutive summers in a cast, Samantha was just glad to swim in a pool. Of course, in Orlando, swimming in the hotel pool was only one of the many pleasures she got to experience all because of one little phone call.
Little did Samantha’s mom, Robyn, know that when she told a Kids Wish Network professional fundraiser about her daughter she would start her family on a journey to having Samantha’s wish granted.
At 10 months old, Samantha was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy refers to a group of neurological disorders that permanently affects body movement, brain function and muscle coordination. Because of this, Samantha is unable to walk and is confined to a wheelchair. Since the age of three, she has had a total of four surgeries, and must also wear a back brace and leg braces. In addition, Samantha attends physical, occupational and speech therapies regularly.
Soon after the initial phone call, Samantha was telling Wish Coordinator, Vanessa, all about her wish to visit all of the theme parks in Orlando, Florida. With the help of Wish Funding Specialist, Megan, and some terrific sponsors, Vanessa arranged for Samantha and her family to go to all the theme parks they could handle!
When they arrived in Florida, the family was greeted in style at the Regal Sun Resort. “We had very nice accommodations,” said Robyn. “Samantha loved swimming in the pool!” Of course, that was just the start of the fun for Samantha. For the next couple of days, Samantha and her family fulfilled a packed itinerary complete with trips to SeaWorld, Universal Studios and Disney’s Magic Kingdom!
“It was all amazing,” said Robyn. “Samantha liked everything!” Some of Samantha’s favorite experiences were watching the Shrek show at Universal Studios and seeing the Shamu shows at SeaWorld, while her twin brother, Justin, had a blast riding the Mummy Ride at Universal Studios.
“Unforgettable,” said Samantha’s mother of her daughter’s wish trip. To everyone at Kids Wish Network, she said, “Thank you very much. We would’ve never been able to do this without you.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Samantha’s wish extra special: Sam’s Club, Northwood University, Gladwin Moose Lodge, Fraternal Order of Eagles #3292, Gladwin Free Methodist Church, R&G Lowmart, Schuster Tax Service, Compassion Partners, WonderWorks, Pirates Dinner Adventure, The Regal Sun Resort, Logan’s Roadhouse, The Sizzler and Discount Mobility.
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