Morgantown, WV- A local girl with intractable epilepsy is sent to Disney World in Florida with her family by Kids Wish Network.
Sixteen-year-old Brandi is a wonderful young lady with a smile that lights up any room. She loves to laugh and do her favorite activities, including walking in the park and making new friends. Her favorite activities are best summed up by Brandi, herself: “I just love to have fun!” Brandi’s bright personality shines at all times, even when she’s dealing with her condition. Brandi suffers from intractable epilepsy. Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that is characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures; Brandi endures at least fifteen seizures a month. Intractable epilepsy is not able to be controlled by commonly available medications. Most patients with this type of epilepsy experience chronic seizures and often must undergo surgery. Brandi struggles daily with her condition, which has left her developmentally delayed.
Brandi’s road to Disney was paved by a simple pamphlet on Kids Wish Network given to her mother, Brenda, by a social worker in the West Virginia Health and Human Resources department. Soon, Brandi was assigned to Wish Coordinator, Vanessa, and Wish Funding Specialist, Doris. With a lot of help from some very special sponsors lined up by Doris, Vanessa began planning an amazing Orlando vacation complete with dinner at the Pirates Adventure Dinner Theater, a trip to Universal Studios, a jaunt to SeaWorld and, of course, tickets to Mickey’s domain.
When Brandi and her family arrived in Orlando, their first trip was to the center of all the magic, Disney’s Magic Kingdom, followed by some time at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. At these parks, Brandi was ecstatic to meet all of her favorite characters; she just adored posing for pictures with them all. “She loved the characters,” said Brandi’s mother, Brenda. “Her expressions were just priceless! It was the best to see her so happy.” The Disney parades were also quite a treat for Brandi and her family: “We’ve never experienced anything like that before!”
The most wonderful time for Brandi, however, happened at the Universal Studios Barney show: “We were sitting about a foot and a half away from the stage. When he came on…oh, the look on her face! As a parent, it’s just so special to see your child like this.” The entire Orlando vacation was pure joy for Brandi, said her mother, “She’s always wanted to go to Disney.” The whole trip was “absolutely super!” About Brandi’s Wish Coordinator, Brenda could not stop praising her: “Vanessa was absolutely great! She’s so super!”
Brenda was also most grateful for the joy Kids Wish Network gave to her daughter: “It is amazing what your program does for kids and their families. The feeling is just incredible. I don’t think you guys really know this feeling that I have! It’s so wonderful…This was definitely something we never would have done without you guys. This is something that Brandi will look back on and it will make her smile. I look back now and I smile!” With just a little “Guardian Angel” magic and some great sponsors, Brandi had her fondest wish come true in the best way possible.