Michael visits the (Phantom of) the Opera!

Michael Torrens - Phantom of Opera Wish

“The wish was beyond Michael’s wildest dreams”

Michael first started displaying symptoms of his life-threatening disease at 6 months old. His mother noticed he wasn’t hitting developmental milestones, and while all babies develop differently, his issues didn’t seem to improve months later. At 9 months old, Michael was officially diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture caused by an insult to the developing brain.

One of his symptoms is extremely stiff limbs; Michael cannot walk, is wheelchair-dependent, and has spastic quadriplegia. His muscles also tighten every time he has a growth spurt. Michael utilizes physical, occupational and speech therapy and takes medication to help with muscle stiffness.

Despite the challenges Michael endures, he is a happy young man who loves music, drawing and playing video games. His favorite musical of all time is The Phantom of the Opera. Michael has always been drawn to music and uses it as a coping strategy.

When Kids Wish Network told Michael he was going to see his favorite Broadway musical, he was overjoyed. Watch his reaction here!

“There really aren’t enough words to thank Kids Wish Network for what they did for Michael,” says his mom Anna. “He had such an amazing time.”

Michael and his family traveled to the bright lights of New York City where they stayed at luxury accommodations, enjoyed VIP tours and a cruise, dined at elegant restaurants, and took in Michael’s favorite Broadway show.

“The wish put together for Michael was beyond his wildest dreams,” Anna said. “The Phantom of the Opera, of course, was the biggest treat; he loved it! From start to finish, the weekend was just incredible.”

All of Michael’s Wish sponsors went above-and-beyond to help Kids Wish Network grant him an unforgettable experience. Michael was even able to meet the “Phantom” himself, Norm Lewis, during dinner at The Capital Grille.

Kids Wish Network would like to thank all the sponsors that helped make this wish trip possible:
• The Roosevelt Hotel
• The Capital Grille
• Shubert Organization
• The Seafire Grill
• Hornblower Cruises and Events
• Dave & Buster’s
• Jacques Torres Chocolate
• Ripley’s Believe It or Not
• American Museum of Natural History
• Livingston Elks Lodge #1855

Michael is still singing the songs from his favorite musical weeks later. He will continue to remain positive and fight against his incurable illness.

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