Kids Wish Network grants wish to teen with cancer

LA GRANDE, Oreg. – A teenager battling cancer had his wish granted by national charity Kids Wish Network and various sponsors.

Samson is a happy, easy-going teenager who loves motorcycles and rock and roll music. But in June of 2009, Samson developed flu-like symptoms and when he did not seem to be getting any better, a trip to the doctor confirmed that he had acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the blood.

When a hospital social worker approached Samson and his family and informed them that Samson may be eligible to have a wish granted by Kids Wish Network, it wasn’t long before an application was filled out and Samson was speaking to a wish coordinator who began planning Samson’s wish to visit the Florida theme parks.

Aside from getting tickets to the theme parks, Samson’s wish included round-trip flights, accommodations, dinners, attraction tickets, spending money and a rental car. Samson’s mother, Crystal, said it was more than she expected.

“Everything went perfectly,” she said. “The people were so nice and the generosity of the sponsors that donated and what not was phenomenal. Everybody was so nice and so kind.”

While in Orlando, Samson and his family visited Disney World, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which was Samson’s favorite park.

“He loves animals and we got to go on the safari and he really enjoyed that,” Crystal said.

The trip, which Crystal said was much needed, came at a good time for the family.

“That was a much needed getaway from reality. It was perfect,” Crystal said. “It’s a blessing for kids that have been forced to deal with a health crisis like Samson has. It was just phenomenal.”

Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Samson’s wish extra special: La Grande Rotary, Community Bank, Air Link, Ken & Jeannette Knott, Compassion Partners, Wonderworks, Pirates Dinner Adventure Theater, Royal Plaza Hotel, Chevy’s Fresh Mex, Hard Rock Café, and Comfort Suites.

Kids Wish Network is a national charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations. Kids Wish Network assists children and their families through several key programs. Every child deserves a chance at happiness; a wish is just a way of bringing them that joy. If you would like to sponsor a child’s wish or if you know a child who is suffering from a life-threatening illness and may be in need of Kids Wish Network’s 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


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