CEDAR PARK, Texas – A little boy suffering from a life-threatening illness has his wish to visit Disneyland granted through Kids Wish Network.
In February of 2004, little Devon was diagnosed with common variable immune deficiency. This is a disorder in which the body’s immune system fails to work correctly in fighting off illnesses, which makes even the slightest cold incredibly difficult to get rid of. Every month Devon goes in to the hospital for blood infusions and he has had the chicken pox four times. This little guy has endured over ten surgeries in his six years and is on multiple medications every day for his condition.
It was a Kids Wish Network professional fundraiser who first called Devon’s parents and let them know about the charity’s mission to grant wishes to children who are facing life-threatening illnesses. They were excited to learn that their son qualified for a wish of his own and were soon talking to Kids Wish Network Wish Coordinator, Jill.
Jill found out that little Devon wanted nothing more than a fabulous vacation to California and to visit Disneyland with his family, but Jill was able to arrange so much more.
After enlisting the help of Kids Wish Network’s Wish Funding Specialist Doris, together they found sponsors that could really help to make Devon’s trip an unforgettable family experience. Jill arranged for Devon and his family to visit Disneyland, Disney’s California Adventure and LegoLand.
“It was fun,” said Devon. His mother Tammy chimed in saying, “He had an absolute blast…we all had lots of fun!”
At Disney, Devon truly had the time of his life. Some particular favorites of Devon’s were experiencing the magical parades, riding both the Indiana Jones and the Haunted Mansion rides. According to his mom, Devon rode the Buzz Lightyear ride four times and (as it’s like an arcade game where you can compete between riders) he beat a family member in points every time!
However much fun he had riding rides and watching shows, Devon’s absolute favorite thing at Disneyland was the Jedi Training Academy, where he was pulled up to train with the Jedi Masters during their street show. “I’m a padawan!” shouted Devon gleefully. He even got to meet his new nemesis, Darth Vader!
At Legoland, Devon and his sister competed in a model building contest and had some extreme fun. It was the wish of a lifetime.
“It was great to spend time to be mellow and not worry about everything else,” said Tammy. “We had a blast. Jill did a wonderful job setting this all up.”
For making Devon’s wish extra special, Kids Wish Network would like to thank: American Legion Auxiliary Beaumont #33, Texas State Council Knights of Columbus, Wal-Mart, Disneyland Compassion Program, Fairfield Inn Anaheim Disneyland Resort, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Legoland California, Benihana Inc., HomeTown Buffet and Ruby’s Diner.
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