The Kids Wish Network just made Mooresville resident Madison Moody’s longtime dream come true.
Amy Moody, Madison’s mother, describes Madison as a smart, curious girl who attends Lakeshore Elementary and loves the Jonas Brothers. The only difference between Madison and her classmates is her condition, arthrogryposis, which reduces the mobility of the joints in her body and started in the womb.
“She has little to no use of her upper and lower extremeties,” Amy explained. “She can move her arms and legs just a little, but she’s in a wheelchair. It did affect her trachea, so when she was two months old, she had to have a tracheotomy. As a result, she can’t speak or swallow very well and can take nothing my mouth. Even with all of her difficulties, nothing has stopped her.”
Amy learned about Kids Wish Network through her aunt, who was solicited for a donation. The organization grants wishes for children ages three to 18 that are batlling life-threatening illnesses. She submitted her niece’s name and the Moody family was contacted with an application.
“We filled out the application in winter of 2009 and Madison was given three wish options to choose from,” Amy explained. “She could take a cruise to the Bahamas, meet the Jonas Brothers or take a trip to New York City, and the decision had to be entirely up to her. We talked with her about what each option would mean and what it would be like, and then we had to send pictures of her choices with her to school and she had to choose there so we didn’t influence her.”
Madison was excited about the prospect of a cruise and made her decision. The network can only send one child per month on a trip, so the Moody family had to be patient until September, but Amy said it was well worth it.
“They were going to fly us to Miami so we could leave on the cruise, but with Madison’s health issues, we asked if we could drive instead,” Amy said. “We stayed in a hotel in Jacksonville on September 8 and then left for the cruise on the ninth.”
Madison, her mother, her father, Steve, and her twin sister, Bailey (who does not have arthrogryposis) climbed aboard the Carnival cruise ship and got to enjoy VIP treatment for the five-day voyage.
“We were able to spend the day at the Atlantis resort water park in Nassau, which Madison loved,” Amy said. “She enjoyed being in the pool and playing in the water. On Sunday, we were out to sea and got to meet the Carnival dance team on the ship. They reserved seats for us for their performance and their lead singer gave Madison a rose, which was a big treat.”
Amy said her daughters had never been on a cruise, so they were amazed at the size of the ship and all of the activities available.
“The whole experience was such a blessing,” she said. “I never thought our family would be able to do something like that and have Madison live life like a normal person. It’s definitely been a blessing to us.”
Mooresville, North Carolina