Spreckles, Calif – A teenage girl had the wish of a lifetime granted with the help of national charity Kids Wish Network.
On Thanksgiving Day 2008, Brittany felt a lump on her neck. After a prescription antibiotic did not reduce its size, a test was conducted which diagnosed Brittany with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. After 12 rounds of chemotherapy and 17 radiation treatments, Brittany is currently in remission. Still, she has to receive a chest x-ray every two months to ensure the cancer does not return.
While receiving treatment, Brittany’s social worker told the family about Kids Wish Network. After filling out an application, Brittany was soon talking to wish coordinator Jill who was making plans for her wish.
With the help of wish funding specialist Doris, Jill got to work to make Brittany’s wish of a trip to New York City come true.
“It was wonderful. Brittany felt so special and everyone went out of their way. Jill did a good job planning everything for us,” said Lisa, Brittany’s mom.
Together Jill and Doris arranged for Brittany and her family to travel to the Big Apple. A round-trip flight, limo transportation, hotel stays, various dining arrangements, a few sight-seeing tours and spending money was made available for Brittany. Jill even set up a special pampering day for Brittany which included a two hour spa treatment at Metamorphosis Day Spa, a manicure and pedicure at Saks 5th Avenue, a makeover at Bloomingdale’s, tickets to the Mary Poppins musical as well as the Brighton Beach Memoirs play and even a three hour trip on the Spirit Dinner Cruise.
Brittany’s day of pampering even included a personal milestone for her.
“It was my first haircut since my hair started growing back,” she said. “So, my first haircut in almost 9 months.”
Lisa said her family enjoyed all the activities that were included in the wish, including first class limo rides.
“The limo service was fun. Here you are going into time square and you pull up in a limo amongst all the cabs which was a neat experience,” she said.
For Brittany, she said the best part of the trip was her first night in the city.
“My favorite part would definitely have to be the location of our hotel. It was an amazing experience to be staying right in the heart of Times Square and the moment you stepped out of the hotel door to just be right in all the excitement of NYC,” she said.
Lisa said that one thing that really stood out to her during the whole process for her daughter was the fact that Brittany getting her wish was like a vacation from her illness.
“It was just a wonderful experience and it’s amazing for the kids out there that this is available for them,” she said. “For Brittany it was neat because you kind of go through a lot and then it was something to get away to.”
“It is hard to put into words what my wish was like. I had the time of my life. It was a big celebration and an experience I know I’ll never forget,” Brittany said.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Brittany’s wish extra special: Saks Fifth Avenue, Courtyard Oakland Airport, Bloomingdale’s, Doubletree Guest Suites-Times Square, Benihana, Au Bon Pain, Metamorphosis Day Spa, Nederlander Producing Company of America, Inc., Disney Theatrical Productions, LTD, The Alicart Restaurant Group, U.S. Limousine Service, Ltd., Azalea Ristorante, Spirit Cruises, American Legion Post 591, American Legion Post 593, Hollister Elks Lodge #1436, Zonta Club of Monterey, Cypress Community Church, First Baptist Church of Salinas, Geoffrey Holland, Mann Packing Company, VFW Post 6849-Spreckels CA
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.