HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (June 12, 2015): The general public will be sitting on the edge of their seats as “Jurassic World” premieres today, but one special kid was already treated to a celeb-filled viewing of the flick. Wisconsin teen Dagen Lusis was invited to the Hollywood premiere on Tuesday where he met star Chris Pratt as part of his wish granted by Kids Wish Network.
“Words cannot express what a wonderful wish experience Dagen had,” says his mom Michele Lusis. “We had an amazing time in California and meeting Chris Pratt. Thank you so much for everything.”
The past two years for the 14-year-old have been a struggle for him and his family and the wish trip was just what Dagen needed to boost his spirits. Dagen was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on Christmas Day 2013 and spent the four-day holiday break in the hospital. He’s struggled with learning to manage his illness, check his blood sugar multiple times a day, and administer his life-saving insulin.
Dagen has been a fan of Pratt’s since his days on “Parks and Recreation” and watches episodes whenever he’s feeling down. Being a young teen with a life-threatening illness is an extremely hard adjustment, so Kids Wish Network was happy to grant Dagen’s wish to bring a smile back to his face.
After Kids Wish Network reached out to Pratt, the celeb invited Dagen and his family to join him on the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of “Jurassic World”. Pratt even has a special connection to the illness; his father-in-law, Jack Faris, will be honored next week by the American Diabetes Association at the Father of the Year Awards. When Pratt and his wife Anna Faris met the Lusis family on the red carpet, they easily bonded over the disease.
Dagen, decked out in a tux sponsored by Friar Tux Shop, was more than excited to talk with Pratt, pose for photos, and have the star autograph some memorabilia. Dagen even gave the star some unforgettable t-shirts: a Kids Wish Network wish-granter shirt and his own “Dagen-Dia-Beat-This” design based on his illness.
“I had the time of my life,” says Dagen. “The wish was more than I ever thought; Chris Pratt was so cool!”
The Lusis family also enjoyed other activities in California as part of the trip. Kids Wish Network would like to thank all the great sponsors who helped make Dagen’s dream come true: NBC Universal, Chris Pratt, The Huntley Hotel, Friar Tux Shop, American Luxury Limo, Border Grill Restaurant, Miceli’s Restaurant, Super Shuttle, and Pacific Park.
Kids Wish Network is a national charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations. Visit www.kidswishnetwork.org to learn more and find out how you can help makes dreams come true and sponsor a wish for a deserving child.