SILVER SPRING, Md. – A little girl with a life-threatening illness has all of her magical wishes come true when she visits Disneyland with a little help from Kids Wish Network.
From the moment she was born, Ryann has suffered from an inherited blood disorder called Sickle Cell Anemia. Those suffering with this disease experience severe episodes of pain and eventual organ damage; they are also at high risk for stroke and cardiac arrest. Ryann suffers extreme pain crises when the temperature changes and she is on a strict daily medication regimen for her condition.
While at the hospital for one of Ryann’s many visits, Ryann’s mother June was talking to a Child Life Specialist who mentioned that Ryann might benefit from having a wish granted. So, when she got home, June went online and searched for wish-granting organizations. The first one she noticed was Kids Wish Network and she took that as a “sign,” so she gave them a call.
After a round of paperwork and phone calls, June gave the phone to Ryann who entrusted her special wish to visit Disneyland in California to Wish Coordinator Jennifer.
Jennifer assured the little girl that her wish would come true and boy did it! With the help of Wish Funding Specialist Megan and some terrific sponsors, Jen arranged to send Ryann and her family out to California for a few days of theme park exploring that included accommodations and dinner reservations as well!
“It was all so great!” said June. “We had an awesome time. Ryann loved it. We were all amazed.”
Ryann got to visit Universal Studios Hollywood, Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. She rode every ride she wanted and she even braved the hair-raising “Twilight Zone Tower of Terror,” which ended up being her all-time favorite.
The family even had time to make a trip to Los Angeles to visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame! They took hundreds of pictures and got two very special souvenirs for Ryann to add to her collection of Build-A-Bears back home: a bear with a Hollywood t-shirt on it and another from Disney that is wearing a Minnie Mouse t-shirt. According to June, Ryann has amassed a nice-sized collection of bears over the years, but these two will remain very special to her daughter.
“We’re really, really grateful,” said June of her daughter’s wish trip. “I simply can’t express how wonderful it was for all of us. I just don’t have the words.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Ryann’s wish extra special: Michelle Bell, PHR, CEO of 1st Choice Staffing , Disneyland Compassion Program, Fullerton Marriott, Universal Studios Hollywood and The Cheesecake Factory.
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.