USAF ACADEMY, Colo. – A teen suffering from Osteosarcoma has his wish to visit the Florida theme parks granted through national children’s charity, Kids Wish Network.
At the start of his senior year in high school, Sam developed a pain in his right knee. He went to the doctor and got a diagnosis of tendonitis. Then a lump started forming and Sam went back to the doctor to have a biopsy done. When the results came back, the lump was found to be a malignant tumor. Sam immediately began receiving chemotherapy to treat the tumor, but in January of 2009, part of his right leg was amputated.
During his hospitalization, a social worker told Sam that he might be able to have a wish granted through Kids Wish Network, so he decided to give them a call. After completing the application process, Sam was put in touch with Wish Coordinator Jen, who asked what he wanted to wish for; Sam told her that he wanted to enjoy some time hopping from theme park to theme park in the Sunshine State and Jen got right to work.
With the help of Wish Funding Specialist Doris and some outstanding local sponsors, Jen arranged to send Sam, his parents and his younger sister to Florida for a much-needed vacation. While there, Jen made sure that Sam and his family had top accommodations, fantastic meals and, of course, tickets to every theme park that they could handle.
“It was so great!” said Sam of his wish trip. “We got to do four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.”
The best part of the whole trip was that every day was set on a pre-planned itinerary provided by Sam’s Wish Coordinator with plenty of room for extra side trips and other activities.
“When we saw it [the itinerary], it was way more than what we ever thought we could do, but it went really great! We did everything!”
In addition to the days filled with visits to theme parks, Sam and his family also got to enjoy their final dinner in Florida at the Pirates Dinner Adventure Theater, where Sam and his dad were called upon to participate in the swashbuckling fun of the floor show!
“It was the last thing before school started back up,” said Sam of his vacation. “It was really great.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Sam’s wish extra special: Pikes Peak Credit Union, Insight Systems Consulting, ABC Bank, Nesquehonic VFW Memorial Post 8008, Mr. Bruce Gillooly, American Legion Post 5, The Royal Plaza Hotel, Compassion Partners, Pirates Dinner Theater, The California Pizza Kitchen, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville and Wonderworks.