VICTORVILLE, Calif. – 9-year-old Drew, who suffers from two rare inherited autoimmune diseases, enjoyed some special behind-the-scenes time at Legoland California through Kids Wish Network.
Most designers go to school for at least four years, but not Drew. This spunky little 9-year-old had the chance to wish for anything in the world and he chose to become a designer-for-a-day for his favorite toys, Legos.
At 2 and ½ years old, Drew was diagnosed with both Mu Heavy Chain Disease as well as a rare genetic disorder called X-linked agammaglobulinemia, or XLA. These two conditions destroy his body’s ability to protect itself from infections by blocking the production of antibodies. For the rest of his life, Drew must take a strict daily regimen of antibiotics and must endure a painful 2 to 3 hour IV drip with immounoglobin, or antibodies, in it once every three weeks.
While searching for an organization that might be able to bring some extra joy into her little boy’s life, Drew’s mother, Cynthia, stumbled on the website for national children’s charity Kids Wish Network and decided to give them a call.
It wasn’t too long after the initial call that Drew was entrusting his wish to design Legos to a Wish Coordinator named Jill. With the help of Wish Funding Specialist Doris and some amazing sponsors, Jill arranged the trip of a lifetime to San Diego for Drew and his family that not only included a behind-the-scenes tour of Legoland for Drew, but also accommodations, dinners every night and some other special surprises for the family to enjoy!
“He had a blast,” said Cynthia of Drew’s thoughts on his wish trip. “It was amazing!”
Upon the family’s arrival in San Diego, Cynthia found a brochure for Legoland and gave it to Drew, who promptly started planning out his two-day trip to the theme park. He planned out all the rides and attractions they would visit and even decided in which order the family would encounter them. He was so excited that he fell asleep with the map clutched in his hand!
Of course, all the planning in the world could not have prepared Drew for what wonders awaited him behind-the-scenes of the toy-themed park and he was thrilled every second he was there.
According to Cynthia, “He was in awe…he was with the ‘gods of Lego’ and he had a blast.”
While there, Drew enjoyed making his very own rocket and launch pad out of Legos and helping out with a “Lego emergency” that happened when a scavenger hunt Lego piece within the park went missing. He was instructed to help make a replacement piece in the shape of the letter “K” and he did so with glee.
Out of everything he experienced though, Drew’s favorite part was visiting “Miniland USA” within Legoland, where famous places and people are made miniature and set up in a special section of the park. “He could have spent both days just looking at those miniatures,” said Cynthia of her enthralled little boy.
What made ‘Miniland USA” extra special for Drew was the fact that, while designing his own Legos backstage with the “Lego gods,” he got to make two small Lego models of himself. One of these models he got to keep and the other he was able to place somewhere in “Miniland USA”; Drew chose to put “himself” in the New York City tableau.
“He cried when he got home, saying ‘My wish is over!’” said Cynthia. “But he’s ok now. We really had a great time.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Drew’s wish extra special: Apple Valley Moose Lodge 1810, Ryan McEachron-Councilman for Victorville, La Costa Resort and Spa, Legoland California, San Diego Zoo, San Diego-Rancho Bernardo Holiday Inn, Elephant Bar Restaurant, The Joester Loria Group, Benihana, Pick Up Stix, Ruby’s Diner and Elmers Products, Inc.
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