Katie, of Waterford, Michigan, loves baseball, listening to her favorite recording artist Cher, and especially watching her favorite actress Holly Marie Combs from the hit teen show Charmed. But, unlike Katie’s favorite television show, her life has been anything but charmed, struggling with a multitude of medical conditions every year of her 13 years of life. Since birth, she has been fighting countless health problems, including 28 bouts of pneumonia, eight sinus surgeries, a rupture in her throat and septic shock among many other illnesses. Since the age of 8, Katie has been undergoing monthly infusions of IVIG to fight off germs and bacteria to help boost her immune system.
Katie’s family has done everything in their capability to make her life as happy and safe as possible, even enrolling her in a small private school to limit her exposure to large crowds. While this brave young teen continues to face each obstacle with unswerving courage, the constant health hurdles have recently affected even Katie’s sunny disposition. As soon as Wish Coordinator Madeline Robinson of Kids Wish Network was contacted about Katie and her dream to meet her favorite star Holly Marie Combs, she was immediately “charmed” with Katie and worked her own special magic to make Katie’s personalized wish come true.
From the moment Katie and her family arrived at the airport in Los Angeles, she felt like a Hollywood celebrity too, being whisked away in a chauffeured limousine to their hotel. For dinner, the family was treated to steaks at Lawry’s The Prime Rib, in of all places, Beverly Hills 90210, also the name of the hit show Shannon Doherty, another Charmed co-star originally appeared on.
The next day, Katie and her family experienced the magic of Disneyland and topped off the evening with dinner surrounded by music legends’ memorabilia at the Hard Rock Café. Even the restaurant made Katie feel cheerful, giving her a cuddly Hard Rock Café teddy bear as a gift. But the best was still to come.
The most wondrous part of Katie’s wish had finally arrived. Katie and her family felt like VIPs when they were invited to spend the entire day with Holly Marie Combs on the set of Charmed. “I had such a hard time believing I was really sitting across from Holly Marie at lunch, because I felt like I was dreaming,” said Katie. She also spent time with co-star Shannon Doherty, who portrays Prue Halliwell and heartthrob Brian Krause, who plays Leo. Everyone made Katie feel at home and welcome on the set. Katie watched the filming from a Charmed casting chair, and to remind Katie of her once in a lifetime experience, Holly gave her one of the magic potion props and a top-secret script from that day’s taping as special souvenirs.
On the last day of their trip, Katie’s family toured Universal Studios and learned more behind the scenes Hollywood magic, completing her celebrity-studded experience.
While life for Katie will not always be easy, she will always remember when her favorite actress Holly Marie Combs shared a special day with her, and she too, was living the “Charmed” life.
Our deepest gratitude goes out to all of our kind and generous sponsors: The cast and production crew of Charmed, A International Limousine Service, Holiday Inn Select on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles, Lawry’s The Prime Rib, The Hard Rock Café on Beverly Boulevard, Universal Studios, Disneyland and American Airlines for providing Katie’s entire family with roundtrip air transportation.
Kids Wish Network is a nationally recognized non-profit organization whose mission is to grant wishes to children who have life-threatening illnesses. If you know a child between the ages of 3 and 18 who may be in need of their wish granting services, please call (813)891-9374 or toll free at (888)918-9004. You can also visit its web site at www.kidswishnetwork.org.