Kids Wish Network Grants Disney Wish to Illinois Boy with Life-Threatening Illness

GILBERTS, Ill. – International children’s charity Kids Wish Network recently granted the wish of Gilberts boy Dakota Cawvey, who suffers from pulmonary hypertension. 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.

“Bringing smiles to the faces of children in need through our programs is an unmatchable joy,” said Kids Wish Network Executive Director Anna Lanzatella. “With our wish granting program, we not only create many new smiles, but we also help a whole family to breathe easier and give them the chance to enjoy being a family without the stresses of medical treatments and doctor visits.”

When Dakota was born, he was immediately hooked up to a machine to help oxygen flow through his lungs and heart, because of the difficulties created by a hole in his diaphragm.  He was then diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, which is an abnormally high blood pressure in the lungs.

Dakota spent his first nine months in the hospital and the first three years of his life reliant on a ventilator and a trach tube. Although he is now off the ventilator, he still uses an oxygen pump to keep his airways open. Dakota also suffers from a condition called sensory processing disorder, in which sensory signals sent to the brain do not receive the correct response from certain parts of the brain.

Dakota was given the chance to have a wish granted through Kids Wish Network and he asked for something he’d always longed to do: visit Disney World in Florida. For the wish trip, Kids Wish Network arranged an all-expenses-paid trip that included dinners every evening, top notch accommodations, and tickets to whichever theme parks that Dakota wanted to visit.

During the trip, Dakota and his family visited Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. Some of the highlights for Dakota were riding the tea cup ride, watching the Pirate’s Dinner Adventure show, and meeting his favorite cartoon characters in person and getting their autographs. For his parents, a particular memory stood out: when Dakota actually said “bye bye” to Mickey Mouse. For a child who hasn’t talked much since he was three, Dakota’s parents were astounded by their son’s utterance. It was truly a magical wish getaway for the whole family.

“We want to say thank you to Kids Wish Network for making Dakota’s wish come true,” said Dakota’s mother, Beverley Cawvey. “We all enjoyed every moment of the trip.”

Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for making Dakota’s all-expenses-paid trip and wish so spectacular: Compassion Partners, Royal Plaza Hotel, Cheesecake Factory Restaurant, Pirates Dinner Adventure Theater, Fuddruckers Restaurant, Wonderworks, and Dollar Rent A Car.

For more information on Kids Wish Network, visit


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. 


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