FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.: Children’s charity Kids Wish Network and community sponsor Andy Gottlieb are excited to celebrate 5-year-old Olivia Burka of Tamarac, FL, as the Hero of the Year. Olivia was first honored as a Hero of the Month in February 2013 as part of Kids Wish Network’s program to recognize children who may not suffer from a life-threatening illness, but have overcome life-altering circumstances.
Olivia was diagnosed as an infant with osteogensis imperfecta, commonly known as brittle bone disease, a congenital bone disorder characterized by bones prone to fracture. Despite her medical struggles, Olivia warms the heart of everyone she meets with her kindness, strength, and uncanny ability to comfort those around her. She was nominated by Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, which also hosted the celebration; the facility has been participating in the Hero of the Month program for over five years.
“It makes us feel good that everyone can recognize how special Olivia is,” elaborates her mother Michelle. “Being honored as the Hero of the Year is very flattering, and we are grateful to receive her gift. When you have a child with such extensive medical bills, it’s a blessing to be able to get them something extra.”
Andy Gottlieb, who sponsored the event and attended Olivia’s celebration, is very active in the local community and has a long-standing history with the charity and its programs. This is his fifth year serving on Kids Wish Network’s board of directors. Gottlieb also supports the hospital and volunteers with the Special Olympics of Broward County.
“Olivia’s story is very inspiring,” Gottlieb says. “I was honored to be a part of her celebration. Getting to meet kids like her is just one of the many reasons why I love serving on the board of Kids Wish Network.”
The Hero of the Month program recognizes children between the ages of 3 and 18 who have faced and overcome difficult circumstances, often enduring a great deal of pain and suffering. Heroes are nominated by staff at participating facilities; Kids Wish Network works with over 125 facilities across the United States. Please visit http://kidswishnetwork.org/programs/hero-of-the-month/ for more information about the program or to see if your facility qualifies.
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 experience life-altering situations. More than just granting wishes, Kids Wish Network makes a difference through its various programs by delivering hope to kids across the United States. Come experience the Kids Wish Network difference.