JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (June 24, 2015): For 17-year-old Graison Greenway, graduating high school was a big achievement. Plagued with severe epilepsy since age 3, Graison once suffered from hundreds of seizures a day. But with a lot of hard work, Graison was able to graduate on time and celebrate this milestone with a magical wish trip granted by children’s charity Kids Wish Network.
“This wish has just made Graison so happy,” said his mom, Rebecca Greenway. “It was more than he could have ever hoped for.”
Right before his third birthday, Graison started suffering from mild seizures but they soon increased until he was suffering from hundreds every day. Graison also would have frequent episodes of “status seizures”, meaning they occurred nonstop for weeks. After over a year of almost constant seizing, Graison’s brain was damaged causing him to lose his speech twice. Finally, a new medication alleviated some of his suffering for a while.
Graison’s medication needed to be adjustment multiple times, as his seizure episodes would start to cycle. He would do well for a few months, but then his constant seizures would occur again. Graison was finally diagnosed with Lennox Gastaut syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy, and he continued to fall victim to the cycles. Doctors implanted a vegas nerve stimulator in 2006 in an attempt to free Graison from seizing, but he still has episodes. A cycle during the summer of 2014 lasted three weeks without stopping. As a result, Graison is developmentally delayed and takes multiple medications, some with dangerous side effects of their own.
Graison’s seizures cause a huge disruption in his life, but he is still able to find joy. He enjoys watching Harry Potter movies and loves anything with Iron Man. Both characters can be found at theme parks in Florida, so it was a natural fit for Graison’s celebration wish trip.
Kids Wish Network granted Graison’s wish for a fun-filled Universal Studios experience. He was able to tour Harry Potter World, visit the other theme parks, and get a special meet-and-greet with Iron Man and the rest of the Avengers. Orlando-based sponsor Once Upon A Party brought the Marvel characters to the Olive Garden where Graison was having dinner.
“I can’t begin to express how great the Iron Man experience was,” adds Rebecca. “He said it was the best experience he’s ever had. It was absolutely awesome and his wish has definitely been achieved. Thank you for everything.”
Jilly Cakes, another sponsor, also created a graduation cake for Graison and brought it to his hotel room at World Quest Orlando Resort. The entire experience is one Graison will never forget.
On behalf of Graison and his family, Kids Wish Network would like to thank all the magical sponsors that helped make Graison’s wish come true: World Quest Orlando Resort, Once Upon a Party, Compassion Partners Program, Universal Studios, WonderWorks, Enterprise Car Rental, Jilly Cakes, Hard Rock Café, Olive Garden, and House of Blues.
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. Visit www.kidswishnetwork.org to learn more and find out how you can help makes dreams come true and sponsor a wish for a deserving child.