Virginia teen celebrates two-year “heartiversary” on cruise wish

Chase with dolphin

MIDDLETOWN, Va. (Feb. 27, 2015): Almost exactly two years ago, Chase Tasker was hooked up to multiple machines and lying in a hospital bed. In desperate need of a new heart, the Middletown, VA, boy never imagined he’d be celebrating his second heartiversary on a tropical cruise. But February 2015 is now filled with memories of sunsets and dolphins, thanks to children’s charity Kids Wish Network.

“It was such a special way to celebrate Chase’s two-year anniversary,” recalls him mom, Renee Tasker. “It’s amazing how differently things looked in 2013 compared to this year.”

Two years ago, Chase could hardly imagine living through his illness, let alone celebrating with a wish trip. After falling violently ill during a basketball game in January 2013, Chase was diagnosed with a severe heart condition called dilated cardiomyapathy. The illness, which enlarges the heart and prevents it from pumping properly, caused Chase’s organs to start shutting down. Just one month after diagnosis, Chase underwent a long and dangerous heart transplant surgery.

While his body accepted the new organ, his recovery process was slow. The task of simply walking to the car became the equivalent of running a marathon for Chase. As time progressed, Chase continued to regain stamina but still needed anti-rejection medications.

To help Chase celebrate his milestone anniversary, Kids Wish Network granted his wish for a tropical cruise. Chase and his family spent four days on an extraordinary Carnival Cruise complete with once-in-a-lifetime excursions.

“Swimming with the dolphins was the highlight for Chase,” said Renee. “We had a blast. I can honestly say we were spoiled thanks to Kids Wish Network.”

Family on ship

The organization would like to thank Access Line Transportation and Carnival Cruise Line for helping sponsor Chase’s wish.

Chase, now 13, is doing well and has finally returned to participating in the sports he loves, but will continue to see a cardiologist every three months for check-up appointments.

Kids Wish Network is a nationwide charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations. Visit to learn more and find out how you can help makes dreams come true and sponsor a wish for a deserving child. If you know of a child suffering from a life-threatening illness who may be in need of Kids Wish Network’s wish-granting services, please call (727) 937-3600.

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