SALLISAW, Okla. – International children’s charity Kids Wish Network sent Sallisaw boy Dimitri Reherman, who is suffering from cystic fibrosis, on an all expenses paid trip to Orlando, Florida to fulfill his fondest wish. Kids Wish Network is an international charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations.
“Granting a wish is a wonderful way to help give these children something they truly want,” said Kids Wish Network Executive Director Anna Lanzatella. “It will, in turn, give them hope for a happier, healthier future.”
When he was only a few months old, Dimitri began having seizures after developing a persistent cough and losing weight. After many tests, he was diagnosed with severe acid reflux, for which he needed immediate surgery on his esophagus. For about a year afterwards, Dimitri was fed through a feeding tube. Sometime later, Dimitri was finally diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a lung condition that causes other life-threatening lung and digestive issues. All that he has been through has been caused by cystic fibrosis and Dimitri continues to suffer with digestive problems, although he is now seizure-free.
When given the chance to have a wish granted by Kids Wish Network, he asked to visit Disney World to meet his favorite cartoon characters.
“He loves his soft friends [stuffed animals] and his TV shows,” said Dimitri’s mother, Holli. “So it just made sense that he would wish to go to Disney World.”
For Dimitri’s wish, Kids Wish Network arranged an all expenses paid trip to Orlando that included accommodations, dinners and tickets to the various theme parks. During their stay, Dimitri and his family were able visit Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure. Dimitri delighted in every water ride and spent a lot of time swimming in the hotel pool; he rode rides of all sorts and, although he was a little starstruck when he met Mickey and Minnie Mouse in person, he was ecstatic to be able to hug his favorite cartoon characters. Although Dimitri enjoyed every experience in Florida, one of his favorites was coming home with armloads of fun, new “soft friends” to play with.
“We had a great time,” said Holli. “This was a wonderful trip. Dimitri’s had such a hard time these past two years and it’s really, really nice to just relax and enjoy ourselves. This was a wonderful trip. He really needed it. We all did. Thank you to everybody who made it happen.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for making Dimitri’s all expenses paid trip and wish so spectacular: Compassion Partners, Best Western Lake Buena Vista, Wonderworks, Pirates Dinner Adventure Theater, Chuck E Cheese Restaurant and California Pizza Kitchen.
For more information on Kids Wish Network, visit www.kidswishnetwork.org.
Every child deserves a chance at happiness; a wish is 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.