Kids Wish Network, Disney World Provide Amazing Experience to Local Boy with Hydrocephalus

New Lexington, OH – A sweet young boy named Zachary gets the thrill of a lifetime at Disney World because of a little guardian angel magic courtesy of Kids Wish Network.

Zachary is a baseball fanatic who loves the Cincinnati Reds. His favorite player is Reds outfielder Jay Bruce, and what else would his favorite color be but red! His favorite movies are The Sandlot and Angels in the Outfield, and his favorite school subject is gym. Zachary is a loving eight-year-old who endured a lot of adversity in his first year of life.

When Zachary was a tiny baby, he was shaken and sustained head trauma that led to speech problems and hydrocephalus, which literally means “water on the brain” and is due to an excess of cerebral spinal fluid. After his adoption at age five months by mom, Leslie, and dad, John, Zachary was hospitalized often for tappings and surgeries to relieve the excess pressure within his skull that were caused by his earlier head trauma. He is monitored closely by doctors and works very hard in various types of therapy to help with developmental delays.

The Perry County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities referred Leslie and John to Kids Wish Network, a charity that grants wishes to children with life-threatening conditions. Zachary’s family was ecstatic to learn that their young son who had been through so much was eligible for his own wish. More than anything else, Zachary wanted to go to Disney World and his wish was not only granted, but exceeded any expectations thanks to Kids Wish Network and some very special sponsors.

Zachary’s entire family was able to share in his wish, much to his delight. Leslie and John have also adopted Zachary’s birth sister and additionally have two biological children of their own, one of which was born with some medical difficulties. Kids Wish Network recognized that this entire family was in need of a special time together, away from the stresses of their typical lives, so they arranged for a packed itinerary that was sure to please Zachary, along with everyone else.

First, Zachary received a box at home before they left for their Disney adventure. In the box were all kinds of toys and games that Kids Wish Network had geared toward Zachary’s interests, plus an item or two that each sibling might enjoy, too. Everyone enjoyed helping Zachary go through his surprise gifts. The family then received a packet in the mail that contained a wonderful vacation itinerary complete with airline confirmations, dinner reservations and contact information should they have any questions or special needs. They were provided with tickets to Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Universal Studios, as well as other area attractions. Soon the family was out the door with everything they needed to begin their magical journey to Orlando.

“It was a magical experience!” said Leslie. “We were so happy the entire trip!”

In Orlando, Zachary was in awe of all the attractions and rode just about every ride he saw. Leslie said that each of his experiences was followed up by his now-famous words, “That was awesome!”

Leslie said, “Zach had such a great experience.” She continued, “All I can say is WOW! What an awesome experience for our family. We thank you [Kids Wish Network] for the wish come true!!”

Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Zachary’s wish extra special: Forest L. Mumford Post 71 American Legion, John Tague Post 188 American Legion, Dr. Haggenjos, Compassion Partners, Royal Plaza Hotel, Pirates Dinner Adventure, WonderWorks, Dollar Rent A Car, Giordano’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria, and the Sizzler.

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

Our Mission

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.