Kira’s Photo Op

“The new camera and laptop made her cry tears of joy”

At 18 months old, Kira displayed symptoms of increasing thirst as well as heavy breathing, prompting her parents to take her to the doctor. Kira was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, a chronic condition in which the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin. She has been living with the disease for the majority of her life and checks her blood sugar levels at least five times a day. Now 13 years old, Kira dreams of one day becoming a professional photographer.

Kids Wish Network sent Kira on a dream trip to Fort Worth specifically designed with her in mind. Kira and her family experienced the comfort of southern hospitality at its best as guests of the Omni Fort Worth Hotel. The feature that Kira enjoyed the most was their room’s personal balcony which provided a gorgeous view of the city’s skyline.

While sightseeing in Fort Worth, Kids Wish Network arranged for Kira to meet Malinda Julien of Malinda Julien Photography at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens for a personal photography lesson. First Kira needed the right equipment, which Malinda Julien provided in the form of a new Canon Camera with all of the bells and whistles. It immediately became Kira’s most prized possession. To top it all off, Malinda then presented Kira with another surprise gift, an Apple MacBook Air laptop.

“Malinda and her staff were so kind and treated Kira like a princess,” recalled Kira’s mom Mindi. Kira was shedding happy tears by the time she opened the MacBook. “To see the joy on her face was priceless,” Mindi continued. The elegance and supreme grandeur of the gardens themselves left Kira and her family breathless. With Malinda as her guide and instructor, Kira was able to use her new camera to capture the most enchanting mementos of her time spent strolling through the paths of thousands of rose blossoms, irises, daylilies, and chrysanthemums. Afterward, Kira’s photographer’s eye was caught by the array of animals at her next destination. The Dallas Aquarium gave Kira the opportunity to photograph her latest favorite subjects, penguins and owls.

During her stay in Fort Worth, the restaurants that Kira visited went out of their way to make her dining experience memorable. The Capital Grille surprised Kira with a green screen photography set. Kira thought Fearings Restaurant’s food was divine and the staff was so friendly. The chef made a special purple, Kira’s favorite color, and blue sugar free dessert for the family to enjoy at the end of their meal.

Just when Kira thought her wish trip couldn’t be any more perfect, her family was gifted with extra passes to return to the Botanic Gardens during their yearly festivals. They were also given a set of tickets to Six Flags which they intend on using in December for the holiday in the park celebration.

“We will never forget this experience and made some timeless memories,” said Mindi.

Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following Guardian Angel sponsors for participating in Kira’s wish:

• Malinda Julien Photography
• Fort Worth Botanical Gardens
• Omni Fort Worth Hotel
• Six Flags Over Texas
• Dallas World Aquarium
• The Capital Grille
• Fearing’s Restaurant


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