Grand Rapids, Mich. – A young boy battling a life-threatening illness was granted his wish to visit various Florida theme parks by Kids Wish Network.
Keagan is an intelligent 4-year-old boy who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy before his first birthday. He has severe quadriplegia and is unable to walk, hold his head up, or use his arms or legs. Keagan relies on assistance for the simplest tasks, including bathing and feeding himself. He has serious muscles spasms in his legs and receives Botox injections to help control them. Despite his struggles, his mom, Natalie, said Keagan is very smart and has a great sense of humor.
It wasn’t until her grandmother referred Keagan to Kids Wish Network that Natalie thought her son could possibly have a wish granted. But before long, Natalie was on the phone with Kids Wish Network Wish Coordinator Jill making plans for Keagan’s wish.
“I think we made a list up and we talked about all the characters that would be there [at the theme parks],” Natalie said. “He wanted to meet Mickey and he likes the characters and that’s how he decided.”
Kids Wish Network Wish Funding Specialist Megan and some great local sponsors helped Jill set up all the arrangements for Keagan’s wish. The entire trip was paid for, including round-trip flights for Keagan and his parents, meals, a hotel stay at the beautiful Royal Plaza, theme park tickets, a rental car and even spending money was included in Keagan’s wish. Natalie said the whole trip was amazing.
“It was all great. Everything that we did I could tell that it was all really planned out and organized,” she said.
While in Florida, the family visited The Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Natalie said Keagan liked Magic Kingdom the best and really enjoyed the shows they attended.
“We went to a Finding Nemo and Lion King show and he had a lot of fun. They got him involved with the Lion King show and took him out on stage in his stroller and he had the biggest smile,” she said.
Natalie said Keagan also enjoyed the meal provided at The Pirates Dinner Theater. The actors took pictures with Keagan after the show and made him feel special.
“He keeps on saying when he grows up he wants to be a pirate,” she said.
While Keagan enjoyed the sights and characters on his wish, the experience meant something more to Natalie.
“To tell you the truth I didn’t know how he would react with all the excitement and I think my favorite part was seeing him smile so much. That was really great,” she said. “It was a really great experience.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Keagan’s wish extra special: Greenville FOE #4321, Wyoming Moose Lodge #763, Royal Plaza, Wonderworks, Compassion Partners, Pirates Dinner Adventure, Backyard Burgers, Buca di Beppo
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. Kids Wish Network is especially proud of their “Guardian Angel Fund”, which uses 100% of its contributions to support the wish granting program. If you know a child between the ages of 3 and 18 who may be in need of wish granting services, or would like to contribute to a child’s wish, 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.