Local teen gets wish granted

ZEELAND, Mich. – A 13-year-old girl living with a life-threatening illness went on the cruise of her dreams thanks to national charity Kids Wish Network.

Kasaundra – who goes by Kasi – suffers from congenital heart disease and severe scoliosis. When Kasi was born, she had two major heart surgeries to rebuild her Aorta. Recently, the major vessel, as well as her Renal vessels have narrowed causing limited blood flow to her lower extremities. Kasi also suffers from scoliosis and on Dec. 12 of last year, she had rods and screws surgically implanted into her back to correct the curvature of her spine.

Kasi’s mom, Jodi, said that she received a call from a Kids Wish Network Wish Referral Specialist who informed her that Kasi had been referred for a wish. After going through the application process, Kasi was soon talking to Wish Coordinator Vanessa, and telling her that her wish was to go on a cruise.

“I was so thrilled to be working on a cruise for Kasi,” Vanessa said. “I was excited to get to work on making her wish come true.”

With the help of Kids Wish Network Wish Funding Specialist Doris, and some very special sponsors, Vanessa got to work on planning Kasi’s wish. She set the date for a Bahaman cruise for Kasi, her parents and her two siblings. Vanessa also set up a special limo ride which transported the family to and from the port.

Jodi said that everything was planned out wonderfully.

“It was great. We were treated like royalty,” she said.

The family had an excursion planned, but their plans changed once the captain of the ship realized that Kasi was on her wish. They were upgraded to the Atlantis Aqua Adventure excursion.

“We spent a full day at Atlantis,” Jodi said. “It was perfect weather and so nice.”

The day of the Atlantis excursion was a special day for Kasi – a celebration of sorts. The date was Dec. 12, the same date as her scoliosis surgery.

“We were there on Dec. 12 and last year on Dec 12 she was having rods and screws put in her back. It was almost like a party for the past long and scary year,” Jodi said.

For Kasi, her mom said that she enjoyed being in the warmth and spending time on the Atlantis excursion and the pools and hot tubs on deck.

“She really liked the boat because it had slides and mini golf and it kept her busy,” Jodi said.

According to Jodi, everyone had a great time and they were happy to spend time together.

“My favorite part was watching the kids all play together and have fun and actually being able to do things together. It was just fun to see everybody laughing and having a great time as a family,” she said.

Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Kasi’s wish extra special: American Legion Post 127, A 2 Z Limousine Inc., AAA American Limousine, Miami Airport Marriott, Carnival Cruise Lines

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48,632 kids helped this last fiscal year through our many programs and services.

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Kids Wish Network is a charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations. Kids Wish Network assists children and their families through several key programs.