STILLWATER, Minn. (July 30, 2015): Keagen Dyson, a 6-year-old from Stillwater, MN, has been dreaming of visiting LEGOLAND for as long as he can remember. And recently, thanks to children’s charity, Kids Wish Network, Keagen’s wish finally came true.
Kids Wish Network is a national organization that provides joy to kids facing life-altering circumstances; among its programs is one that grants wishes to children suffering from life-threatening illnesses. This is the program that, unfortunately, Keagen qualified for, with not one, but two life-threatening diseases.
At 4 months old, Keagen was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that permanently affects body movement and muscle coordination, and then epilepsy in January 2014. Both diseases can cause serious complications.
Keagen started physical therapy shortly after his diagnosis of cerebral palsy to help relieve muscle stiffness caused by the disorder. Unfortunately, the therapy hasn’t been very successful, and Keagen has needed multiple Botox injections to help reduce the tightness in the muscles on his left side. Keagen has also undergone two surgeries to try and lengthen the muscles in his hand and leg. Keagen takes anti-seizure medication to treat his epilepsy but still suffers occasional seizures. He has also required surgery on his tear ducts, had tubes placed in his ears, and attends physical and occupational therapies as part of his ongoing treatment.
While Keagen sometimes struggles emotionally with his constant health issues, he is an outgoing and funny boy who loves playing with LEGOS and watching Disney shows. Kids Wish Network was able to combine some of his favorite things and grant Keagen this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Keagen and his mother, Sarah Gilder, traveled courtesy of Kids Wish Network to Orlando, FL, where they stayed in luxury accommodations, visited the local parks, and experienced exciting activities selected specifically for Keagen.
Besides making Keagen’s wish of visiting LEGOLAND a reality, the charity also arranged for him to enjoy Magic Kingdom, “wrestle” an alligator at Gatorland, have his face painted, eat breakfast with Goofy and Pluto, and dine with Superman; all things Keagen mentioned that he liked.
“Keagen had a blast on his trip,” recalls Gilder. “He loved LEGOLAND and Gatorland; he even got to sit on an alligator. At his character breakfast, he couldn’t get enough of Pluto and Goofy; he wrote Goofy an ‘I love you’ note and gave it to him. He loved everything.”
Keagen is currently doing well with his treatments, but will need lifelong care as both conditions are incurable.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following Guardian Angel sponsors that helped make Keagen’s biggest dream come true: Royale Parc Suites, Compassion Partners Program, Once Upon a Party, Funny Cheeks, Gatorland, Texas Roadhouse, Wyndam Lake Buena Vista Lakeside Restaurant, Chevys Fresh Mex Restaurant, Chili’s Bar & Grill, WonderWorks, and National Car Rental.
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.