WEST ALLIS, Wisc. – International children’s charity Kids Wish Network just granted 6-year-old Valentino Alioto’s wish to meet Mickey Mouse at Disney World in Florida. 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.
“It is such an honor to grant the wishes of these special children. These fulfilled wishes bring such hope into the lives of these kids and makes their futures seem a lot brighter,” said Kids Wish Network Executive Director, Anna Lanzatella.
When Valentino was eight months old, his parents saw a strange reflection in his eye and took him to an ophthalmologist, who immediately knew it signified a tumor. The condition is called bilateral retinoblastoma and it causes cancerous tumors to form in the cells of the retinas and sometimes the brain. Valentino was started on six months of chemotherapy followed by two months of radiation therapy. Unfortunately, Valentino lost the use of his right eye and is legally blind in his left.
Valentino was given the chance to have a wish granted through Kids Wish Network and he asked to visit Disney World with his mom and his older brother. Kids Wish Network arranged an all-expenses-paid trip that included tickets to whichever theme parks in Florida that Valentino wanted to visit, dinners every evening, transportation and accommodations.
“It was wonderful,” said Valentino’s mother, Rebecca Galati. “We had the time of our lives. It was amazing.”
During the wish, Valentino and his family visited Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Wonderworks and SeaWorld. Some of Valentino’s favorite experiences were watching the “Dream-Along with Mickey” show in front of Cinderella Castle and watching the Shamu whale show at SeaWorld from the “splash zone.”
Another favorite experience of Valentino’s was visiting Buffalo Wild Wings for an arranged dinner and being surprised with gifts, VIP treatment and even a personalized welcome on the marquee out in front proclaiming “Welcome to Orlando, Valentino” for all of Orlando to see.
“My boys were so happy to spend time together and we had a wonderful time as a family,” said Rebecca. “He [Valentino] felt really special. It was the trip of a lifetime and we can’t thank you all [at Kids Wish Network] enough.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for making Valentino’s all-expenses-paid trip and wish so spectacular: Compassion Partners, Royal Plaza Hotel, Southwest Airlines, Beef O’Brady’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Wonderworks, and Piratess Dinner Adventure Theater.