RIDGEVILLE, Ohio – International children’s charity Kids Wish Network celebrated the generosity of its partners who helped send Ridgeville teenager Haley, suffering from Lung Disease, Down Syndrome and Tracheomalacia, on an all- expenses paid vacation to fulfill her childhood dream. Kids Wish Network is a Florida-based charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations.
“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.
Haley has Down syndrome and, at the age of 2, she was also diagnosed with lung disease. The cartilage supports in her trachea have softened to the point that she needs to have her food finely ground up in order to eat it, although she gets over half of her nutrition needs through a feeding tube. Haley aspirates frequently and this aggravates her condition. She has suffered through 12 hospitalizations and 15 bouts of pneumonia since her diagnosis. Unfortunately, congenital heart disease has also caused 3 holes to form in Haley’s heart. Despite surgeries to repair the holes, a valve in her heart is still leaking and it will need to be surgically repaired in the future.
When Haley was given the opportunity to have a wish granted through Kids Wish Network she asked to visit the many theme parks of Orlando, Florida. To bring Haley’s dream to life, Kids Wish Network arranged an all-expenses paid trip, including dinners every evening, accommodations, and, of course, tickets to whichever theme parks she wanted to visit. While in Orlando, the family went to Universal Studios, Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom. Haley’s favorite part of the Disney experience was meeting Buzzlightyear. The entire family enjoyed the treatment they received everywhere they went.
“I’ve never seen Haley smile the way that she did when she met Buzzlightyear, she was so happy and excited that she had to show him all of her toys!” said Haley’s mother, Melissa Steinforth. “We had such a wonderful experience; we are very grateful and thankful to Kids Wish Network.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for making Haley’s wish so spectacular: Compassion Partners, Orange Lake Resort, Pirate’s Dinner Theater, Cracker Barrel, Carrabba’s, Wonderworks, and Dollar Rent A Car, FOE Aerie #213, VFW # 1445 and Kellex Corporation.
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.