MARSHALL, N.C.: When Ashlyn DePoy’s 4th birthday rolled around, the little girl from Marshall had already received her ultimate wish. Ashlyn just returned from her magical wish trip granted by Kids Wish Network only a week prior and was still celebrating meeting her favorite Disney character.
Kids Wish Network is a national, charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, providing happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations. Ashlyn qualified for the charity’s wish-granting service, one of the many programs developed to help children suffering from difficult circumstances.
Ashlyn started experiencing developmental delays a few months after she was born. She was first diagnosed with strabismus, eye crossing, and global development delays, meaning she was six months behind schedule. Once she started favoring one side of her body more than the other, doctors performed an MRI and diagnosed Ashlyn with Chiari malformation, a life-threatening and incurable structural defect in the part of the brain that controls balance.
In April of 2012, Ashlyn, only 22 months old, underwent a decompression surgery to help keep her brain in place and drain excess fluid. The surgery left a large scar at the base of her head, which, even two years later, is closely monitored for any signs of complications. While the decompression surgery helped relieve many of Ashlyn’s symptoms, she still continues to have developmental and physical delays, and her family knows there is always a chance for more symptoms to return.
Despite her incurable condition, Ashlyn works through her issues with a constant smile on her face. This smile was definitely a permanent fixture during her magical wish trip to the Florida theme parks, including Disney World and SeaWorld. Kids Wish Network sent Ashlyn and her family on an all-inclusive wish trip where the family stayed at fabulous accommodations, dined at local restaurants and enjoyed all that the parks had to offer.
Ashlyn loved meeting the Disney Princesses, watching the Shamu Show at SeaWorld, and spending time with her sisters. The DePoy family had a great time everywhere they went, but the highlight for little Ashlyn was meeting Tinker Bell, her favorite Disney character.
“Thank you so much for making Ashlyn’s trip so magical,” recalls her mom Jamie. “Her wish to meet Tinker Bell came true; she loved everything and couldn’t stop smiling.”
Ashlyn is currently doing well and just celebrated her 4th birthday and her two-year post-op anniversary.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank all the generous sponsors that helped grant Ashlyn’s wish: Laguna Bay Villas, WonderWorks, Logan’s Roadhouse, Dollar Rent A Car, Bahama Breeze, Hard Rock Café, and Compassion Partners Program.