PACE, Fla. – Through the generosity of some amazing local sponsors, Kids Wish Network was able to grant the Disney World wish of a little girl with a kidney disease.
Nine-year-old Kearsten, aka Peanut, suffers from a condition called hydronephrosis. She has no right kidney and her left kidney is not connected, both of which lead to intermittent renal failure. When she was 7-years-old, Kearsten endured a surgery to place a stent in her kidney and now she has to have the stent replaced every six months. Because of her condition, Kearsten must have more surgeries when she reaches the age of fourteen.
When Kearsten was referred by a family friend to children’s charity Kids Wish Network to have a wish granted, she said that she wanted to visit the fun theme parks in Orlando. In order for that wish to be granted, a Kids Wish Network wish funding specialist reached out to Kearsten’s hometown of Pace to see if there were any local “heroes” who wanted to help fund the wish; local VFW Post 4833, Knights of Columbus #7027, Fraternal Order of Eagles #3483, American Legion Post 340 and the First National Bank said they were more than happy to help make little Kearsten’s dream come true.
Through various creative fundraising efforts, including a motorcycle “poker run” and a breakfast, both hosted by the VFW Post, everyone raised enough money to send Kearsten and her family to Orlando for her wish.
During their time in the theme park studded city, Kearsten and her family visited Sea World, Disney’s Magic Kingdom and EPCOT Center.
“My daughter had a great time,” said Kearsten’s mother, Shannon. “She had a blast. It was really nice to see such a big smile on her face. It brought tears to my eyes.”
Although she enjoyed everything she was able to experience, Kearsten said that her favorite part of her wish happened at Sea World when she was feeding some seals. In order to feed the seals, she had to toss fish into their enclosure and, to her excitement, one of the seals decided that she would feed him and hopped up onto a rock and started “talking” right to her! Kearsten gleefully tossed her fish his way and even managed to get two of them directly into his awaiting jaws! Kearsten said she loved the experience.
“I can’t say thanks enough for what it meant to her – to us,” said Shannon of her daughter’s wish trip. “Just seeing her eyes light up brings tears to your eyes. Words can’t describe it.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Kearsten’s wish extra special: VFW Post 4833, Knights of Columbus #7027, Fraternal Order of Eagles #3483, American Legion Post 340, First National Bank, Compassion Partners, Wonderworks, Wyndham Lake Buena Vista, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Bahama Breeze and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store.
Kids Wish Network is a national 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.
Santa Rosa Press Gazette