MESA, Ariz. – International children’s charity Kids Wish Network and John Fulton from the Animal Planet show, “Must Love Cats,” granted a unique wish to local teen, Angeline Fahey, by hosting a party and distributing gifts to her fellow pediatric patients at Cardon Children’s Medical Center this past weekend. During the festivities, Kids Wish Network surprised the kids with a Gift Bank of toys worth $20,000. Kids Wish Network is a Tampa-based charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations.
“Angeline’s amazing generosity in sharing her wish with her fellow patients is truly inspiring. Kids Wish Network was proud to honor her unique wish request with a Holiday of Hope Gift Bank created especially for the kids at Cardon Children’s Medical Center,” said Kids Wish Network Executive Director Anna Lanzatella. “We will continue to work with our partners to provide opportunities to bring a smile to the faces of young people suffering from life altering situations.”
Early last year, 18-year-old Angeline Fahey was diagnosed with osteosarcoma – a cancer of the bone. Angeline was started on intense chemotherapy and underwent a surgery that removed a tumor in her femur. Surgeons also replaced her knee and inserted a rod in her leg. Since her last surgery, Angeline has been in and out of chemotherapy treatments, which are scheduled to continue until April.
When given the opportunity to have a dream made real through Kids Wish Network, Angeline selflessly asked for a party to be thrown at Cardon Children’s Medical Center to bring joy to the other children with whom she made friends during treatment. An avid cat lover and fan of the Animal Planet show “Must Love Cats,” Angeline knew that the show’s funny, talented host John Fulton would provide the perfect musical entertainment for her wish party and asked if he would attend and entertain the children in residence.
“I wanted to share my wish with the other cancer kids,” said Angeline. “They deserved a day where they didn’t feel sick and they’d be given a spark of happiness. And with John [Fulton], he’s such a fun guy that I knew everyone would love his performance.”
Kids Wish Network also asked Angeline to present a Hero of the Month award to 7-year-old patient Gary Daniels for his bravery in facing kidney disease. As a participant in Kids Wish Network’s Hero of the Month program, Cardon Children’s Medical Center nominates one child every month between the ages of 3 and 18 who has faced and overcome difficult circumstances to be their “Hero of the Month.” Gary was given a recognition packet complete with a gift card, certificate, t-shirt and shiny Hero medallion.
Kids Wish Network worked with hospital staff and Angeline to surprise the kids with a Holiday of Hope Gift Bank of $20,000 worth of toys and gifts for the children to take home and back to their hospital rooms. Kids Wish Network’s Holiday of Hope Gift Banks provide emergency rooms, pediatric units, and other children’s care facilities with age appropriate toys to offer a welcome distraction to children facing often traumatic or life threatening illnesses.
“I was amazed with the toys and I was so happy to give them out because I know what it’s like to sit in a hospital room day after day with nothing to do. These toys were a wonderful way to help me share my wish with them,” said Angeline.
After the toys were distributed, Animal Planet’s Fulton performed several of his funny songs from “Must Love Cats” to delighted applause. The children were also entertained with a Live Photo Booth from Keith Pitts Photography and were then treated to a special cake from local Sugarlips Cakery.
When the party was over, Angeline introduced Fulton to her cat, Ringo, and John even helped create a special keepsake featuring Ringo’s paw prints and his handprints that Angeline will treasure forever. According to Angeline, it was a wonderful wish in every way.
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.