Local girl gets wish granted for theme park trip

Alpena, Mich. – A little girl living with a life-threatening illness had her wish granted through national charity Kids Wish Network. 


Marissa is a 4-year-old, who at birth, was diagnosed with having a severe chronic lung disease called Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia.  The illness causes serious respiratory problems for her, and a simple cold will send her to the ICU.  She also has a growth hormone deficiency and takes shots to help regulate the hormones.


While at home one day, Marissa’s mother, Karmen, received a phone call informing her that Marissa was referred to have a wish granted by Kids Wish Network.  After filling out the Kids Wish Network wish application, Marissa soon found out that she was getting her wish.


“Every time she saw the commercial [for Disney] with the castle and the fireworks she would say she wanted to go,” said Karmen.  “She would say, ‘I want to see the pretties,’ which is the fireworks.”


Kids Wish Network wish coordinator Jennifer was in charge of organizing Marissa’s trip to the Florida theme park wish.  With help from Kids Wish Network wish funding specialist Megan and some special local sponsors, Marissa’s wish was granted.


“We chose to go to the Magic Kingdom and SeaWorld.  She did get to feed and pet the dolphins and stingrays and asked to go back and do it again.  Her favorite ride at Disney was Dumbo and she saw all the princesses.  She couldn’t stop talking about it,” Karmen said.


Karmen said that everything was wonderful and her daughter’s wish came true.


“She was excited about everything.  That was the most fun to watch her have fun and get to see everything,” she said.  “I let her run the day and that was unusual for her.”


Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Marissa’s wish extra special: Alpena Alcona Area Credit Union, Banner Realty, Comins Michigan Eagles # 3544, The Royal Plaza, Pirates Dinner Theatre, The California Pizza Kitchen, Wonderworks


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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