“He had an amazing time, and it definitely gave him something to look forward to and many fond memories to cherish.”
Wish Kid Riley has always been a star student excelling in school, and has been in Gifted classes since the second grade. He even received the Kansas Honor Scholar award for his dedication to school and outstanding grades. Riley was also very active and shined in baseball. Then everything changed. He started experiencing extreme fatigue, balance and vision issues. On his birthday, he went to the ER and underwent a brain biopsy… it revealed he had anaplastic astrocytoma stage 3 cancer. Since his diagnosis, Riley has undergone a shunt implant, radiation and chemotherapy. It’s been very difficult – the cancer is located in a region of his brain which makes it inoperable and incurable.
Riley told Kids Wish Network that he wanted to experience EPCOT at Walt Disney World and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida. For his wish of magical destinations, his reveal was equally extraordinary.
Riley received a personalized video message from his favorite celebrity who complimented him on his accomplishments, and revealed he’d soon be experiencing a fun-filled vacation with his family in Orlando, Florida. “Seeing the look on his face when he received the video message was amazing,” said Riley’s mom Patti. “It brought tears to his eyes, which in turn brought tears to mine. We were all really stunned that this celebrity would take the time to make such a personal video.”
Riley’s family visited Disney’s EPCOT and Universal theme parks. “He was blown away as we walked into Diagon Alley at Universal Studios, and when we saw the castle at Islands of Adventure,” said Riley’s mom. “All of the extra surprises during the trip were wonderful. His balloons in the decorated dressing room at Express, the awesome Harry Potter themed book cake and restaurants were all so special and meant so much to him. He had an amazing time, and it definitely gave him something to look forward to and many fond memories to cherish. Everyone has been so kind and made this an amazing experience.”
Before the wish, Riley enjoyed a generous shopping spree graciously provided by Express. During the wish, Riley’s family had beautiful accommodations at DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando – Disney Springs Area, and memorable dining experiences at The Boathouse, Texas de Brazil and Paddlefish. Riley’s Harry Potter themed cake was kindly gifted by Jillycakes, and Scooter vacations provided a scooter for Riley while visiting the parks.
“Riley has been through so much, and we wanted to do something that would honor all of his achievements, as well as something special to look forward to,” said Kids Wish Network Executive Director Tam Lai. “We’re grateful to everyone who made Riley feel so special.”
Even with a terminal condition, Riley continued his studies at home and graduated from high school with honors. Sadly, shortly after attending graduation, Riley’s battle with brain cancer came to an end.
We’re so honored that Kids Wish Network gave him his dream come true during his last precious days that he lived to the fullest.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following sponsors for making Riley’s dreams become a reality:
- DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando – Disney Springs Area
- The Boathouse
- Texas de Brazil