In February of last year, Shelby was having a normal day when she started feeling ill, developing painful knots and began bruising. She was sent to the hospital where she was admitted for 3 weeks. During her stay, her doctors found out thatShelbywas suffering from chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, which is a cancer of the blood cells. Her white blood cell count was way above normal and she was experiencing blackouts.Shelby’s doctors began her on daily oral chemotherapy treatments, weekly blood work and she will soon have to undergo a painful bone marrow transplant surgery.
When Shelby was given the chance to have her fondest wish granted through national children’s charity Kids Wish Network, she asked if she could attend the Anime Blues Convention in Memphis, Tennessee; soon, her wish was granted through the generosity of the Anime Blues Convention and several outstanding local sponsors.
“It had always been a dream of mine to attend a convention,” said Shelby. “I was very excited to hear that I was going and couldn’t wait. I had always wanted to go to one and a lot of my friends had gone and I was always really jealous.”
In addition to attending the fun, three day event, Shelby was also given a costume to wear; she chose to attend as a sorcerer named Howl from the animated film “Howl’s Moving Castle.” Kids Wish Network also made sure that Shelby and her family had accommodations and dinners every evening along with providing trips to other attractions such as Graceland and The Memphis Zoo.
Although she enjoyed every experience she had during her wish trip, Shelby’s favorites came down to attending the convention and meeting anime voice actor Vic Mignogna – something that completely surprised Shelby.
“At the convention I had a few of my friends also attending and it was so much fun to be there with them,” said Shelby. “I loved going into the dealer room and seeing all the stuff there. It was completely amazing because it’s so hard to find, anime merchandise. I also had a blast meeting Vic Mignogna; it was probably the highlight of the convention for me. When I found out I’d get a one-on-one meeting with him, it totally blew my mind. I’m such a big fan! He was so nice, he even called my friends that were at the convention!”
For Shelby, her wish was a resounding success and, though she’s happy to be home, she would rather still be at the convention: “I wanted to stay at the convention forever. It was so much fun, but sadly it had to end. There was no better way to spend my wish…I want to say thank you all very much for making my wish come true there is no way it would have happen without each and every one of your contributions.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Shelby’s wish extra special: Anime Blues Con, Hilton-Memphis, The Memphis Zoo, Graceland Tours and Sekisui.