Amber Lozano cannot speak verbally, but her smile can speak volumes.
Last month’s trip to Disney World proved to be the perfect backdrop to that smile for Amber’s mother and brother.
The trip and the smiles were all courtesy of the Kids Wish Network, who grants children battling life-threatening illnesses a wish fulfillment.
For Amber, who has Rett Syndrome, the Magic Kingdom was the ultimate destination.
“She’s always watching the Disney Channel and has always loved Mickey Mouse so this was her dream,” said her mother, Gloria.
Although Amber cannot verbally communicate, Gloria can translate the smile in her daughter’s eyes.
“You know when she really loves something,” she said. “Her eyes light up and she just smiles really big.”
The family has seen that excitement before and her mother describes her as “happy and loving.”
But at Disney World, that happiness went into overdrive, according to her mother.
“My son went with me and we saw a side of her we didn’t know,” she said.
Three years after she was born, Amber was diagnosed with the rare neuro-developmental disorder that causes 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.
The trip came as a surprise to the family when Amber mother received a telephone call from a professional fundraiser asking if she knew of any children living with life-threatening illnesses. Because Amber was 18 years old, Gloria Lozano didn’t think her daughter would qualify for the Kids Wish Network.
“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,” Lozano said. “I told her I hadn’t and she told me I should.”
On its website, Kids Wish Network states its mission to “infuse hope, create happy memories and improve the quality of life for children.”
The organization made all the arrangements to stay at The Royal Plaza Hotel in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., paid all of the traveling expenses and added some spending money and allowed Amber and her family to have the time of their lives.
“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,” Lozano said. “They made everything easy and convenient for us and we didn’t have to worry about anything. It was like entering another world.”
Gloria Lozano has one memory she will cherish for a lifetime.
“When we were in front of Cinderella’s Castle, Amber just looked up and stared at it like it was a dream,” she said. “This trip was truly magical. It was a great experience and they (Kids Wish Network) made her dream come true.”
The Pasadena Citizen