For Genysis Mortley, it was a dream come true.
Well, two dreams come true.
And it was all due in part to the Kids Wish Network.
Mortley, 16, who is preparing to move to Walton County later this month, was born with a blood disorder called sickle cell anemia. While she tries to live her life like a normal teenager, a good day can quickly become a bad day if she becomes stressed, overwhelmed or even if she is wearing the wrong clothing on a hot or cold day. It is actually a testament to her that she is alive, considering doctors could not figure out why the 30-week old baby was dying when Mortley was born. A blood transfusion provided her enough of an opportunity to pull through.
In addition to what at times can be debilitating pain, she has tubes in her ear to aid with hearing and in her childhood had her tonsils and adenoids surgically removed. With a delicate immune system, Mortley has to follow a strict daily medication regimen.
But when life gets her down, Mortley turns to her passions: singing and dancing. Though she and her best friend are trying to start up a designer company, for which Mortley designs wedding dresses and prom gowns, music seems to provide a source of solace for the teenager. And when it comes to music, for Mortley, nothing beats Beyoncé. So, given a chance to wish for anything in the world, all she wanted to do was meet the performer. And the Kids Wish Network made it happen.
Once approved, the Student Government Association at Georgia Health Sciences University in Augusta organized a kickball tournament to help fund the wish. Organizers said it was such a success, they hope it will become an annual event to support other charitable organizations.
With funding in place, the trip was arranged so Mortley would meet Beyoncé after attending a concert in Central Park. Visiting New York was a second dream come true for Mortley, and she was afforded the opportunity to “eat until I couldn’t eat anymore,” visit the Statue of Liberty and various spots in the city Mortley only had seen in the movies.
Then, it was time for the teenage girl to see only the second concert of her life, but one she said was the most memorable experience of her life.
“I was in the crowd with the people she works with, and everyone — including the security guards — treated us like celebrities,” said Mortley, adding her aunt plays bass guitar for the musician. “They took us backstage and we went inside and talked with Beyoncé. She is a very sweet, sweet person. She gave me a huge hug and I told her how she inspired me so much. Then I started crying. She kept saying how beautiful I was. I will forever remember it all.”
Mortley was given a gift bag as well, which had signed memorabilia and other items, and took full advantage of the opportunity to have her picture taken with the star.
“It was overwhelming,” said Mortley’s grandmother Viola Hyman in a press release. “Everything was great. The concert was awesome. Kids Wish Network really granted her a lot of wishes that I wasn’t able to give her. I think it is very special what (the Kids Network) does. I can’t thank them enough.”
The Walton Tribune