SOUTH HOUSTON – National children’s charity Kids Wish Network recently granted a Florida theme park wish for a young lady battling a life-threatening illness.
Happy, loving, 18-year-old Amber likes music and watches the Disney channel on a daily basis. But she isn’t able to tell you that.
Just three short years after her birth she was diagnosed with a rare neuro-developmental disorder called Rett Syndrome. This illness causes Amber to have seizures and has left her completely non-verbal. She relies on a wheelchair for mobility and has to be under supervision at all times. She takes various medications each day to help control her seizures and often needs oxygen to assist her breathing.
Gloria, Amber’s mother, said she received a phone call from a professional fundraiser for children’s charity Kids Wish Network who wanted to know if Gloria knew of any children living with life-threatening illnesses who may possibly qualify to have a wish granted.
“They had called from Kids Wish Network and we got to talking and the fundraiser asked me if I had ever referred Amber for a wish,” Gloria said. “I told her I hadn’t and she told me I should.”
That’s what got the ball rolling.
Kids Wish Network’s mission is to infuse hope, create happy memories and improve the quality of life for children. This year alone Kids Wish Network has put over 73,000 smiles on the faces of children. Amber is one of those children.
She was recently granted her wish to travel to Florida and visit The Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Sea World.
“She sees the Disney channel on TV and loves it. She shows excitement when the characters come on TV,” Gloria said. “My daughter had a wonderful time. My son went with me and we saw a side of her we didn’t know. She was so excited.”
Kids Wish Network set up arrangements for the family to stay at The Royal Plaza Hotel in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The charity also set up various dinner arrangements and gave them spending money to help with extra costs.
“Everything was set up for us step by step and it’s a good thing otherwise we would have been running around like chickens with our heads cut off,” Gloria said.
Gloria said Amber enjoyed The Magic Kingdom the most and had a great time on the Winnie the Pooh and Buzz Lightyear rides. But as her mother, it meant something more to her.
“The best part was just watching her. I’m telling you I was so worried about her flying and I was concerned about how she would react but she was wonderful and she had a good time,” she said.
Gloria said her family had a great time and working with Kids Wish Network was a great experience.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Amber’s wish extra special: Royal Plaza, Wonderworks, Pirates Dinner Adventure, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Ruby Tuesday
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. Kids Wish Network is especially proud of their “Guardian Angel Fund”, which uses 100% of its contributions to support the wish granting program. If you know a child between the ages of 3 and 18 who may be in need of wish granting services, or would like to contribute to a child’s wish, 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