Disney wish granted for Florence boy with life-threatening illness

Florence, SC – A young boy with a life-threatening illness had his wish granted to visit various Florida theme parks with the help of national charity Kids Wish Network.

Michael was born with an illness called Sickle Cell disease. This is a debilitating disorder in whish the blood cells in the body are attacked, causing severe pain. Michael has a very weak immune system, has had many blood transfusions and doctors also believe he has suffered a stroke. Sometimes he uses a wheelchair for mobility because he becomes too weak or is in too much pain.

While surfing the Internet and searching for wish granting organizations, Michael’s mother Mary came across Kids Wish Network’s website and referred her son online. She was contacted by the organization, and Michael was soon on his way to having his wish granted. Mary said he couldn’t wait to visit the Florida theme parks.

“He was so excited especially about Disney and to go on the water rides and meet Mickey Mouse,” she said.

Wish coordinator Madeline, and wish funding specialist Doris got to work on making Michael’s wish come true. Together, they arranged flights, hotel stays, theme park tickets, dinners, entertainment, spending money and even a limo ride to and from the airport courtesy of Celebrity Limousine.

Michael said he was excited when the limo pulled up to the house.

“I didn’t know I was going to ride in it. I took pictures, too,” he said.

While in Orlando, Michael visited The Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Universal Studios, and Islands of Adventure. He said Animal Kingdom was the best park.

“It [Animal Kingdom] was my favorite. I saw gorillas, lions and rhinos. And I rode Expedition Everest,” Michael said. “I also liked Splash Mountain at The Magic Kingdom.”

Mary said her son loved all the rides and got to take pictures with different characters. She said they all had so much fun.

“I had so much fun I didn’t know whether I was going or coming,” she said.

Various dinners were arranged for the family while they were staying in Orlando, but Mary said that the family enjoyed the experience at Planet Hollywood the best.

“They treated us like a King and Queen and the food was delicious,” she said. “They gave us glasses to take home for souvenirs, too.”

Mary said that Kids Wish Network did an awesome job of arranging the trip for Michael and her family. She said she gives the organization an “A plus!”

And when asked if his wish came true, Michael simply said, “Oh, yes ma’am.”

Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Michael’s wish extra special: Celebrity Limousine, Royal Plaza Hotel, Pirates Dinner Adventure, Planet Hollywood, House of Blues, Mears Transportation, Buffalo Wild Wings, Wonderworks, Chief Ansen Shells, and Pee Dee Federal Credit Union

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


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