“The girls have been through so much; we finally saw a light in them”
Sisters Kylie and Victoria share a lot in life; besides just the usual sisterly-things like clothes, makeup, toys, and a family, they both suffer from life-threatening illness.
Victoria, the oldest sister, started suffering from extreme fatigue, constant aches and pains and weight loss in 2006. After going through a battery of tests, Victoria was diagnosed with systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, a rare form of the childhood joint disease that causes chronic pain and inflammation throughout the body. For the next several years, Victoria tried one medication after another, but kept suffering from painful episodes.
“Victoria was in so much pain that she would scream out in agony,” recalls her mother.
Victoria was admitted to the hospital several times to quiet the flares. In early 2013, Victoria’s symptoms started to get worse, and while increasing her doses initially saw improved results, a necessary change in medication sent her on another downward spiral.
Despite her daily struggles, Victoria is trying her best to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The teen loves learning about history and spending time with her family.
Her sister, Kylie, also suffers from a life-threatening illness, that started revealing its symptoms in 2009. Kylie suffered her first grand-mal seizure in May of that year and was immediately rushed to the hospital after being discovered by her other sister.
Doctors diagnosed Kylie with epilepsy, a seizure disorder that can cause life-threatening complications. Even with treatment, Kylie was suffering from three to five episodes each week. After six months of routine seizures, doctors conducted more tests to monitor Kylie’s brain waves. Her levels were far worse than expected. Although Kylie’s seizing couldn’t be seen externally, her brain was still convulsing internally.
A specialist updated Kylie’s treatment plan and managed to control her seizures to one every few months, a vast improvement to Kylie’s life. However, her brain still has episodes that cause Kylie to forget, or lose, large amounts of daily memories. She still suffers from large seizures when under stress, but her medication controls most of the severity.
Both of the sisters suffer from extreme complications from their life-threatening illnesses, but use their family as a strong support system. KWN was very excited to plan a once-in-a-lifetime family vacation for the girls with special days focusing specifically on each of the girls.
Kids Wish Network sent Kylie and Victoria on a historical and fun trip to Washington, D.C., where they got to experience all of the sights and other exciting activities. Both the girls had the time of their lives and were so happy to escape the stress of their illnesses for the week.
“We will never be able to thank Kids Wish Network enough for the great adventure you sent our family on,” said Kylie and Victoria’s mom. “The girls have been through so much; we finally saw a light in them.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank all the generous Guardian Angel sponsors that helped make both sisters’ dreams come true:
• National Park Service
• Smithsonian Institute
• National Museum of History
• Smithsonian’s National Zoo
• Scary DC Ghost Tours
• Representative Luke Messer
• President Lincoln’s Cottage
• National Archives
• National Museum of American History
• Bobby’s Burger Palace
• Daily Grill
• Good Stuff Eatery
• E & B Paving, Inc.
• Gaston American Legion Post 387
UPDATE: Victoria is attending college but still suffers from bouts of debilitating pain. Kylie is in school but still struggles with frequent seizures. Both girls remain positive and in good spirits.