Spending time with Dolly Parton: Austin’s Dollywood wish

dolly parton dollywood wish

“Austin was so excited to meet Dolly in person.”

Austin is an exceptional 11-year-old who has a fierce sense of adventure despite his life-threatening condition. Diagnosed at birth with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system, Austin suffers through four sets of treatments every day. Cystic fibrosis causes mucus in the body to become unusually thick and can clog the lungs and obstruct the pancreas. Every day, Austin undergoes two chest therapy treatments before school, one in the afternoon, and another one before bed to help break up the mucus. He also uses a feeding tube to supply his body with the necessary nutrients his disorder prevents him from absorbing.

Regardless, Austin remains upbeat and positive despite his blindness in one eye and rigorous treatment schedule. He definitely didn’t let anything get him down during his all expense-paid wish trip to Dollywood. Austin and his family traveled to Pigeon Forge, T.N., where they stayed at the rustic Oak Haven Resort & Spa, dined at country-themed restaurants, and spent two amazing days at Dollywood. Austin’s favorite part, hands down, was meeting Dolly Parton herself.

“Austin was amazed,” recalls his mom Brenna. “He was so excited to meet Dolly in person; he kept saying ‘She’s beautiful.’” She sat down and talked with him, signed autographs, it was fantastic.”

Though Austin was star-struck by the country superstar, he didn’t forget his mission to ride those rollercoaster’s.

“He loved the new Firechaser Express,” Brenna noted. “He rode all the rollercoaster’s, some of them three or four times. Everything was just amazing; thank you, Kids Wish Network, so much.”

Help Grant Another Child’s Wish


Name: Austin
Age: 11
State: WV
Illness: Cystic Fibrosis
Wish: Visit Dollywood
Wish Category: Celebrity

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48,632 kids helped this last fiscal year through our many programs and services.

Our Mission

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.