“My wish was a great escape from the stresses of being sick”
Where are they now? We want to know! That’s why KWN continues to be a part of the lives of our Wish Kids, long after the actual wish.
Recently, we reached out to Keri, who received a wish from Kids Wish Network in 2002. As she was interested in journalism, Keri chose a trip to New York, to meet her hero, Katie Couric on the Today Show.
Keri was diagnosed with spina bifida at birth. A shunt to drain the excess fluid from her brain, several operations on her feet to assist her mobility, and a wheelchair for long distances were just a few of the complications. But none of that stopped Keri as she made the most of her wish trip, staying on the set during the Today Show broadcast, where she met Katie Couric and show regulars Ann Curry and Al Roker. Katie introduced Keri to everyone, including special guests Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore. Finished with the show, Katie and Keri retired to the green room for some quiet conversation, where Katie gave Keri advice about getting started in the business.
Today, Keri says her health is relatively stable. She does have chronic pain in her neck and back, which is managed with medication, but she has not had a hospital stay since 2011. Keri says, “The biggest change is that I am now wheelchair-bound, but I am in aquatic physical therapy in hopes to one day walk again”.
Keri reflected on her 2002 Wish trip. “My favorite part was everything that was planned in addition to the actual wish to meet Katie Couric. I enjoyed getting to meet other celebrities at the Today Show, especially Nicole Kidman, who was at the Today Show promoting a movie; she didn’t have to meet with me (since she did not know I was going to be there) but she spoke with me for about 20 minutes – she was so kind! I spent a lot of the time at the Today Show with Ann Curry, who I still regard as one of the nicest people I have ever met.”
Keri went on to say, “My wish was a great escape from the stresses of being sick. It was nice to get away for a while. Katie Couric’s encouragement that I could do anything I wanted, so long as I kept working at it, gave me hope that I will get a good job one day. I no longer want to be a journalist, but I do continue to write often. Currently, I am working on writing a book while also working on getting certified as a medical coder. I also finished college in 2011 with a BS in psychology that I hope to one day be able to use to council children.”
With Keri’s exuberant personality and positive attitude, we know she will achieve any goal she sets her mind to! We are confident that the future holds exciting things for this young lady, and that her determination will result in work that is meaningful and rewarding. We’re looking forward to hearing you tell us about the next chapter in your life, Keri!