Hastings, FL – A little boy with hydrocephalus gets his dream Microsoft game system with a little help from Kids Wish Network.
Eight-year old Caleb’s eyes lit up as the flaps of the box were opened; it was as though he had just found a cache of gold. In fact, to him, it was better than gold: it was a brand new Xbox 360 Pro.
Caleb was diagnosed with normal pressure hydrocephalus when he was born. This condition occurs when there is a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain and is usually treated with a surgically placed shunt in the child’s brain to drain the fluid. In Caleb’s case, he underwent the surgery and had the shunt placed in his head, but it was rejected by his body. Without the shunt, the fluid in Caleb’s head is constantly building up and soon he will have to go in for surgery to expand his skull in order to give his brain more room. Because of this condition, Caleb has to wear a helmet at times and is sometimes confined to a wheelchair. He takes a daily medication regimen and may have to be home-schooled.
In December of 2005, Caleb was in attendance at Shriner’s Hospitals for Children of Tampa when they threw a holiday party to celebrate their receipt of a Gift Bank of brand new toys and games from Kids Wish Network. During this party, Caleb’s mother, Nancy, learned that not only did Kids Wish Network give out toys to hospitals, but they also grant wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. After her initial call to Kids Wish Network, Nancy had her son talk to Wish Coordinator, Jen. It was easy enough for Jen to find out what Caleb wanted for his wish; he told her that he wanted an Xbox 360. With the help of Wish Funding Specialist, Megan, and the wonderful people at Microsoft, it wasn’t long before Caleb’s wish was ready.
“It definitely made his day,” said Nancy. “We were all amazed at the stuff!” In addition to an Xbox 360 Pro, Microsoft sent Caleb games to go with it, an additional controller, an MP3 player, an Xbox 360 membership gold card, 4000 points worth of game downloads from their website and much much more! Jen also added some special surprises that really knocked Caleb’s socks off, including tickets to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and memorabilia from his favorite NASCAR hero, Tony Stewart! According to Nancy, she and Caleb are still going through the boxes, trying to find places to display all of the great gifts!
“Things were gloomy for a bit there,” said Nancy, talking about Caleb’s reactions to some of his medications and new situations. Since his wish boxes arrived, however, Caleb has had little room to get down in the dumps; every new gadget of his “keeps him very entertained.” This new system and all of the accessories help to take Caleb’s mind off of everything he has gone through and must still endure. Microsoft was quite pleased with Caleb’s reaction to their game system: “The Xbox 360 is an amazing machine and it is great to see it have such a positive impact on Caleb’s spirits!”
Another aspect of the wish that makes Caleb’s smile stretch from ear to ear is that “he’s the talk of all his friends.” According to his mother, Caleb has been bragging to all of his friends and he “even has the big kids coming over to play!”
Caleb’s Xbox wish was just what he wanted; his mother, Nancy, was elated at how her son’s wish was set up, saying that Jen “rounded it out so well!” “Thanks to all who helped make a little boy happy.” A Microsoft representative said it best when he said, “Microsoft is overjoyed that we could donate an Xbox 360 to the Kids Wish Network and make Caleb’s wish come true.” The people at Kids Wish Network are just that and more.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Caleb’s wish extra special: Microsoft, Wal-Mart and the Saint Augustine Alligator Farm.
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