Rays of Sunshine for Melissa

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“The highlight of her day was seeing Blue Man Group”

Frequent stomachaches were always common for Melissa. She would suffer from excruciating pain and even passed out from the severity of an episode once. Afterwards, she was rushed to the hospital. Melissa’s doctors discovered that her pancreatic levels were elevated, and tests results combined with her medical history proved that Melissa has chronic pancreatitis, a long-lasting inflammation of the pancreas. Melissa currently manages her life-long illness with multiple medications, but still suffers from attacks caused by inflammation.

Kids Wish Network sent Melissa on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Orlando in order to sample Florida’s best variety of theme parks. Universal Studios was a hit with Melissa, who was privy to fast passes that got her to the front of every line. Her favorite ride was ET. Attending a performance by the Blue Man Group really impressed Melissa as well. She even got to meet the band and pose for photos together. They also gave her a set of drum sticks from their concert with blue hand prints decorating the sides. “It was the highlight of her day,” said her mom Theresa. Their family ended the night by being treated to a meal at the famed Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Melissa has never seen Forest Gump, the Tom Hanks film that inspired the theme of the restaurant and was excited to go home and watch it.

Sea World was next on Melissa’s agenda. She thoroughly enjoyed the Shamu show, “One Ocean,” which feature majestic killer whales as the stars. The dolphin encounter gave Melissa an up close and personal interaction with the playful bottlenose mammals and an opportunity to pet them. The Florida theme park grand tour ended with a visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where Melissa went on a safari trek through the lush African savanna. With 7 pools to choose from, Melissa ended her day relaxing by the water on a beach lounger back at the Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas. It was the perfect Sunshine State vacation, complete with a bevy of palm trees and plenty of vitamin D.

Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following Guardian Angel sponsors for participating in Melissa’s wish:

• Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas
• Blue Man Group
• Compassion Partners
• National Car Rental
• Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
• The Capital Grille
• Chevy’s Fresh Mex
• Merlin’s Magic Wand
• Sea Life
• Madame Tussauds
• Orlando Eye

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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.