Gwen conquers her fear on her tropical cruise

gwen carnival cruise wish

“It was so great to see Gwen overcome that fear on her own”

When Gwen was 8 months old, her pediatrician noticed she wasn’t hitting the average developmental milestones. After routine DNA testing was performed, the results came back negative for any abnormalities, but when Gwen turned 2, she started having numerous seizures that prompted more testing. Gwen was diagnosed with mitochondrial complex 1 deficiency, a disease that causes a dysfunction in her cells’ ability to produce energy; she also suffers from type 1 diabetes.

As a result of her illnesses, 9-year-old Gwen does not speak, has extremely low muscle tone and is completely insulin dependent. Still, the loving and happy child doesn’t let her condition damper her mood, especially on her wish trip.

Gwen and her family had an amazing time on her Carnival Cruise to the Bahamas where she enjoyed spa days, lounging at the pools, dancing to the festive music, and conquering her fear of the water slide.

“Gwen had never seen a waterslide that big before; we took her to the top of the stairs the first time, and once she saw how high it was, she said “No” and climbed back down,” recalls Gwen’s mom Jennifer. “The next day she climbed up and went down the slide all by herself. It was so great to see Gwen overcome that fear on her own. The cruise was just amazing; thank you Kids Wish Network.”

Gwen will start home school in the upcoming year and is doing well health wise.


Help Grant Another Child’s Wish

Name: Gwendolyn
Age: 9
State: IN
Illness: Mitochondrial Complex 1 Deficiency
Wish: Carnival Cruise
Wish Category: Travel

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Kids Wish Network is a 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.