JASPER, Ind. (Jan. 2, 2014): For Jasper 9-year-old Ty Hamlin, studying artifacts and reading history books isn’t just for school. So when he got the opportunity to visit one of the most historic places in America for his wish trip granted by Kids Wish Network, he was beyond excited. Ty’s wish trip to Washington, D.C. was a dream come true, especially after all the young man has experienced.
When Ty was just 2 ½ years old, his parents rushed him to the emergency room as he was experiencing excruciating stomach pain. Doctors discovered Ty’s spleen was enlarged and his blood platelet count was low. After multiple blood tests, a spinal tap and some genetic testing, Ty was diagnosed with combined immune deficiency, a rare genetic disorder that causes certain cells in the immune system to function improperly.
Along with this life-threatening condition, Ty also has chronic Epstein-Barr virus in his blood, which can cause crippling fatigue, splenomegaly, a chronically enlarged spleen, and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpua, which results in consistently low platelet counts. All of these conditions combined make Ty’s immune system extremely weak, requiring hospital stays for even the most common of illnesses. Ty’s diagnosis requires him and his family to be very careful when any illness is circulating.
Despite these ever-present concerns, Ty manages to find happiness getting lost in the tales of history. Ty is smart and creative and couldn’t wait to expand his knowledge on his wish trip. Kids Wish Network granted Ty’s wish for a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Washington, D.C., and sent the Hamlin family on an impressive visit to the nation’s capitol.
The wish trip was packed with exciting excursions including visits to three different museums, tours of the Capitol and the White House, and dinners at extraordinary restaurants. Ty had the time of his life soaking in all the historic sites and learning about new technologies. Visiting the National Geographic Museum was the highlight of his trip, and eating “the best burger in D.C.” at Bobby’s Burger Palace was another experience to remember.
“I really liked the National Geographic Museum, and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History had a great Neanderthal exhibit,” said Ty. “Thank you for making my wish come true.”
“Kids Wish Network did a great job of planning Ty’s wish,” adds dad Jay Hamlin. “We thank you all very much.”
On behalf of Ty and the Hamlin family, Kids Wish Network would like to thank all the generous Guardian Angel sponsors that helped make his dream come true: The Mayflower Renaissance, National Geographic Museum, Old Town Trolley Tours, Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of History, Blue 44, Hard Rock Café, Bobby’s Burger Palace, and Congressman Bilirakis.
Kids Wish Network is a national charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations. Please visit www.kidswishnetwork.org for more information. If you would like to sponsor a child’s wish or if you know of a child who is suffering from a life-threatening illness, please contact Kids Wish Network toll-free at (888) 918-9004.