One of the things Kids Wish Network prides itself on is that we try to stay in touch with our Wish Kids, long after their wish is over. These ongoing relationships are one of the things that set Kids Wish apart from other wish granting organizations. Our Wish Kids hold a special place in our Wish Coordinator’s hearts; actually, that’s true for all of us. Although our Wish Coordinators may come to know their Wish Kids the best, we all become familiar with their stories, follow along as their wishes are granted, and enjoy seeing the photos from the wish.
Sometimes, we’ll hear from or about our Wish Kids years later. We get to see how they’ve grown, learn what they’ve been able to do, and yes sometimes, learn of their unfortunate passing. We also receive inquiries from our sponsors and donors wanting to know how a certain Wish Kid is doing.
We recently received this happy story about one of our Wish Kids, McKenna, and would like to share it with you.
Several years ago, when McKenna was only six years old, her mom Connie came across Kids Wish Network’s website and referred her daughter for a wish. McKenna had been born six weeks early, and as often can be the case with preemies, she had medical problems; she was diagnosed with both epilepsy and torticollis, which causes limited range of motion for a certain area of the body. For McKenna, it was her left side.
Kids Wish Network sent McKenna and her family to Disney World. They stayed at the fabulous Royal Plaza Hotel, spent days at Universal, Epcot, and The Magic Kingdom, and enjoyed dinners at local restaurants which are always eager to provide a meal for our Wish families.
After the wish, mom Connie told us, “It was amazing. Everyone was so nice to McKenna. Her eyes lit up every time she saw a character. It was so cute.”
We recently heard again from McKenna’s mother. She wrote:
“You granted my daughter McKenna’s wish to go to Disney when she was 6 years old. I wanted to let you know how thankful we still are to have found your program at that time and the wonderful memories we made.”
One of the generous sponsors of McKenna’s wish was Bubbalou’s Bodaous BBQ. The family had the opportunity to return to Disney a few months ago and went to the fondly-remembered restaurant. After a child returns from a wish, we send our sponsors certificates proclaiming them one of our Guardian Angels. The certificate includes a photo of the Wish Kid. The certificate still hangs proudly all these years later at the restaurant. The family took another picture of McKenna by her certificate picture.
And, oh, that little girl who had limited range of motion on her left side?
“She is now 13 and an 8th grade cheerleader and softball player! She likes Math and Science.”
McKenna sounds like a well-rounded young lady who has faced her health challenges with determination and hope for a positive future. As an organization of hope (after all, that’s our fairy’s name!), we wish only the best for our Kids! Please continue to stay in touch, McKenna.
Any other Wish Kids who would like to share their stories of “Where Are They Now?” please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!