COLUMBUS, Ohio – A young lady with a life-threatening illness enjoys the wish of her life with a little help from Kids Wish Network.
At the age of 5, Molly was diagnosed with epilepsy. This is a neurological disorder characterized by frequent unprovoked seizures. At 6 years old, she had her first grand mal seizure. In addition, Molly has also been diagnosed with hypotonia, which is a condition of abnormally low muscle tone. Though her epilepsy cannot be cured, Molly is on medicine to try to control her seizures and must visit her neurologist frequently. She has also endured 4 surgeries during her young life to correct her vision.
When a professional fundraiser for children’s charity Kids Wish Network called Molly’s parents and asked if they knew of any child who could benefit from having a wish granted, they told the caller about their daughter. After that initial conversation, it wasn’t long before Molly was letting Wish Coordinator Jill know about her wish to swim with dolphins.
With the assistance of Wish Funding Specialist Megan, and some very special sponsors, Jill organized a wish trip to Florida for Molly, her parents and her little sisters. Besides the trip to Dolphin Cove, where Molly got to be nose-to-nose with her favorite sea mammals, Jill arranged for day trips to the World Parrot Mission, the Everglades Safari Park and the Theater of the Sea.
“As soon as we got there, we were overwhelmed,” said Molly’s father, Peter. Upon their arrival to Florida, National Car Rental had a vehicle waiting for Molly and her family, along with a little surprise: “They had a box of gifts for Molly,” said Peter. This gift box was filled with little presents for Molly to enjoy on her wish and the wrapping paper even had pictures of her on it! That alone was truly surprising, but little did Molly and her family know that this was only the first of many special surprises to be had on their trip.
Every day was jam-packed with activities for Molly and her family to enjoy. One day, they fed food to tarpons who jumped out of the water; another day, the family enjoyed a private parrot show at a rescue center! Everything was wonderfully exciting for Molly, but nothing compared to the day when she got to swim with dolphins.
“The dolphins were the highlight for Molly,” said Peter. “She wasn’t afraid and she got to kiss them. She loved it. It was the highlight of her life so far.” Molly loved every second in the water getting to know the friendly dolphins and was thrilled for the rest of her trip.
As each exciting day came to a close, the family enjoyed dinners at some outstanding restaurants in the Florida Keys, where Molly was treated like a celebrity. Following dinner every night, they retired to their room at the Dove Creek Lodge where, according to Peter, “the accommodations were outstanding. The people at Dove Creek were also very attentive and very friendly! It was great.”
Now that Molly is back home in Ohio, her excitement has yet to waver. She’s already inviting friends over to show them all the pictures and videos she brought back from her Florida vacation. “Everything was just outstanding,” said Peter of his daughter’s wish trip. “Molly really felt special. I think this will be a lasting memory for her.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Molly’s wish come true: Fraternal Order of Eagles #2244, The Big Chill Restaurant, World Parrot Mission, Turtle Kraals, National Car Rental, Everglades Safari Park, Outback Steakhouse, Senor Frijoles, Theater of the Sea, Sunny Days Catamarans, Dove Creek Lodge and Dolphin Cove.
Kids Wish Network is a nationally recognized non-profit organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children. If you know a child between the ages of 3 and 18 who may be in need of its wish granting services, please call 727-937-3600 or toll free 888-918-9004. For more information on Kids Wish Network, visit their website at www.kidswishnetwork.org