Flower Mound, Tex. – The Kids Wish Network grants a special wish to a little boy with child disintegrative disorder by sending him to Key Largo, Florida to swim with the dolphins.
As the large dolphin surfaced, he sprayed water droplets everywhere, making Briggs smile. Leo, the bottlenose dolphin swam over and Briggs leaned in to kiss him on the nose as a flash went off; that perfect moment of Briggs’ wish was captured in that instant.
When Briggs was five, his parents noticed that he was regressing in many ways: he slowly stopped talking, began to lose focus and it looked as though he was really struggling. Briggs was eventually diagnosed with childhood disintegrative disorder. Considered to be of central nervous system pathology though the exact causes are unknown, CDD is very rare. The disorder occurs after a child has already begun to develop normally and then begins to regress, losing speech and other developmental functions over a period of time. There is no cure for CDD.
Briggs’ trip to Florida all started with a phone call from a Kids Wish Network professional fundraiser. Briggs’ mother, Paige, told the caller about Briggs’ illness and it was not long before Briggs’ wishes were being conveyed to his very own Wish Coordinator, Vanessa. It was she who learned that he absolutely loved swimming and that he was fascinated by the ocean, so, with the help of Wish Funding Specialist Donna and some fantastic sponsors, she organized an amazing trip to Key Largo, Florida for Briggs and his family, where he could swim with the dolphins. Not only did this trip include a dolphin swim at Dolphin Cove, it also included a trip to Theater of the Sea, a ride on the Key Largo Princess glass bottom boat and accommodations at the beautiful Key Largo Grande Resort and Beach Club!
Once in Florida, Briggs and his family really had a blast. According to his mother, Paige, Vanessa’s itinerary was perfect: “It was just right. We did everything that Vanessa set up for us and it was not too much. Really perfect. It made our trip so amazing to have all of these fun things to do. Vanessa is wonderful. She really spoiled our family. We felt so blessed the entire process.”
The first day in Key Largo, Briggs and his family enjoyed a trip on a glass bottom boat, which was, according to Paige, “AMAZING! I did not expect to see so much. Briggs really enjoyed seeing the fish and coral.” The next day was Briggs’ big dolphin swim. “Briggs does LOVE ocean creatures, but he has never seen one up close. I was not sure how he would react. At first he was very nervous. Daddy helped him and it made him feel more comfortable. Soon Briggs was hugging, kissing and petting the dolphin. It was so cute to see him gain confidence and start to really enjoy it. We loved to be able to see that.” Briggs was so pleased to meet Leo the dolphin and his wish was finally granted, even though the fun wasn’t over yet.
Every night, Briggs and his family were treated to dinners at fantastic local restaurants in Key Largo. According to Paige, “They were all wonderful. We felt so special. They treated us like gold. It was a new experience to take the whole family out to dinner. The kids loved all their food and enjoyed having soda!” Their accommodations at the Key Largo Grande Resort and Beach Club were nothing short of spectacular as well: “It was gorgeous! We have never stayed at a place like this. The kids played on the beach and in the pool. We also took nature walks. It was truly a beautiful resort.”
Everything went smoothly and Briggs and his family were having a blast in Florida; their final day was no exception. A visit to the Theater of the Sea brought countless smiles to Briggs’ face as he got to pet a shark, kiss a sea lion and watch shows starring some of his favorite marine mammals. It was truly a dream come true for a special little boy with a great love of sea life. “The Kids Wish Network is doing something so special. Briggs was able to have this amazing wish come true and it was neat for the whole family to honor him and make him feel special.” Kids Wish Network was only too happy to grant such a special wish.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Briggs’ wish come true: Dolphin Cove, Theater of the Sea, Inta Jensen, MasterGuard Corp, Sam’s Club, VFW 2544, Alamo Car Rental, Key Largo Grande Resort and Beach Club, Key Largo Princess Glass Bottom Boat, Key Largo Conch House, Bentley’s Restaurant, Senor Frijoles.