A Colorado Springs girl suffering from a life-threatening disease got her wish granted by donors and the Kids Wish Network.
Hope Spencer, 15, has spina bifida, a birth defect that occurs when a vertebrae in the spine fails to close.
Hope has already seen the ocean, but not like this: On a cruise with her parents.
That wish was granted by Florida-based Kids Wish Network a charity founded in 1997. With the help of sponsors, Hope flew to Miami last month to board a Carnival Cruise Lines ship before a six-day cruise to their destination in Cozumel, Mexico.
Hope and her family were given a tour of the ship’s bridge, a backstage tour of the onboard dance shows, and found gifts waiting in their cabin. Hope even got to swim with dolphins.
“It was great!” said Hope. “I didn’t think I’d get that close to one!”
Hope has had 50 surgeries, the most dangerous of which came when she was three months old. She’s able to walk short distances with the help of a walker, but mainly relies on a wheelchair for transportation.
The Kids Wish Network claims to have helped over 103,672 kids last year through various programs.
Wishes are granted to children between the ages of 3 and 18 who are fighting life-threatening conditions.
The Colorado Springs chapter of the Black Sheep Harley-Davidsons for Christ referred Hope to the charity.
Her favorite part of the cruise? “I can’t think of one specific thing. It was all amazing. That was a once-in-a-lifetime experience I won’t forget.”
Hope and her family also had lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe in Miami, where the employees gave her gifts.
Hope’s mother, Lisa Spencer, said “It was definitely a VIP experience. She felt like a star.”
Colorado Springs, Colorado