HERMANTOWN, Minn. – International children’s charity Kids Wish Network announced today that, thanks to Tyra Banks and generous sponsors, a Minnesota teen’s fondest dream has become a reality. Seventeen-year-old Molly McGovern, who is paralyzed from cerebral palsy, visited the set of America’s Next Top Model during filming to meet her hero, Tyra Banks. Kids Wish Network is a Florida-based charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations.
“It is through the generous support of donors and partners like Tyra Banks that we are able to grant the wishes of thousands of children each year,” said Anna Lanzatella, Executive Director of Kids Wish Network. “Their kind generosity is humbling and we cannot thank them enough.”
Nineteen-year-old Molly was born with cerebral palsy and is quadriplegic. She’s endured a number of surgeries over the years, as well as experimental and non-traditional therapies, including 9 years of biomechanical rehabilitation in Canada. Despite the treatments and therapies, Molly is completely reliant on a wheelchair for mobility and the aid of her service dog, Simon.
Molly’s dream is to rise above her condition and become a fashion model, so when she was given the opportunity to have a wish granted through Kids Wish Network, she asked to meet her hero and inspiration, Tyra Banks.
For the wish, Kids Wish Network arranged an all expenses paid trip for Molly and her family to Los Angeles. In addition to meeting Tyra Banks, Kids Wish Network also set up other activities for Molly to enjoy, including limousine rides, a visit to Madame Tussauds, and a trip down the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
To prepare for her meeting with Tyra Banks, Kids Wish Network arranged for Molly to be pampered with a superstar makeover from the MAC team at Macy’s before being whisked to ShowBiz Studio in a limousine. There, Molly and her family were treated to lunch and a tour of the set of America’s Next Top Model. They also met with judges Kelly Cutrone, Bryanboy, and Rob Evans. Of course, Molly’s favorite moment was meeting her hero, Tyra.
“She’s been watching Tyra’s show for years and she really respects Tyra. She’s helped her believe in herself,” said Molly’s mother, Kathy McGovern. When Tyra walked in the room, “It was amazing. Molly was just beside herself. She couldn’t believe this was happening to her.”
Although starstruck, Molly spent some quality time chatting with Tyra and posing for pictures before presenting her with a poem that she had written just for her.“I told her I loved her,” said Molly. Tyra gave her a hug and told her that anything was possible and to not give up on her dreams.
“It’s a once in a lifetime experience she’ll never forget,” said Kathy of her daughter’s wish. “I’m so appreciative that Kids Wish Network made this happen for Molly.”
“Thank you Kids Wish Network,” said Molly. “I’m very thankful I could come out here to meet Tyra. Thank you.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for making Molly’s all expenses paid trip and wish so spectacular: Tyra Banks, America’s Next Top Model, Midway Car Rental, Sheraton Los Angeles, Samantha Salk, Engine Co. No. 28, Hard Rock Café, Norman Lewis Limousine, and Bottega Louie.
For more information on Kids Wish Network, visit www.kidswishnetwork.org.
Every child deserves a chance at happiness; a wish is a way of bringing them that joy. If you would like to sponsor a child’s wish or if you know a child who is suffering from a life-threatening illness and may be in need of Kids Wish Network’s wish granting services, please call 727-937-3600 or toll free 888-918-9004.