Kids Wish Network Sends Florida Boy with Life-Threatening Illness to “Roller Coaster Capitol of the World”

ORLANDO, Florida – As a part of its commitment to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations, Tampa-based Kids Wish Network sent 12 year-old Gabriel Colon, who suffers from severe Type 1 Diabetes and Hypoglycemia, on an all-expenses-paid vacation to Cedar Point Amusement Park. Kids Wish Network arranged for Gabriel and his family to experience thrills at what is dubbed the “Roller Coaster Capitol of the World.” During the trip, Gabriel and his family were treated to multiple complimentary adventures including a wild safari ride, and a private charter on Lake Erie.

“Every day, we work to ensure that children facing life-altering experiences are given the opportunity to smile a little brighter. With help from our generous donors, we are working to make a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of children every year,” said Anna Lanzatella, Executive Director of the Kids Wish Network.

At the age of 10, Gabriel was enjoying a typical day of school until he suddenly collapsed and was rushed to the hospital where he spent a week in ICU. The doctors caring for Gabriel discovered that he had Type 1 Diabetes and Hypoglycemia. Childhood Type 1 Diabetes means that a child’s pancreas does not produce the insulin they need to survive. Due to his Diabetes Gabriel also suffers from onset Hypoglycemia. Gabriel has suffered seizures because of his illnesses and has a permanent implanted insulin pump to help his body regulate his glucose.

“Gabriel is the biggest roller coaster junkie; he had the best time ever. His favorite part of the wish was being able to go on all of the rides with his dad,” said Melinda Colon, Gabriel’s mom. “This trip was so much more than we expected!”

Kids Wish Network would like to extend special gratitude to the following for helping create this opportunity for Gabriel: Cedar Point Amusement Park, Parma Rent a Wreck, Quality Inn, Applebee’s, Put-In-Bay Tour Train, Dock’s Beach House, Captain Sam, African Safari Wildlife Park and Frisch’s Big Boy.

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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