Oak Lawn, Il – A very special young man from Oak Lawn recently experienced an extraordinary dream come true thanks to Kids Wish Network, a children’s organization that grants wishes to kids with life-threatening illnesses. Benjamin, who was born with complex congenital heart disease, couldn’t believe it when his wish to visit Disney World came true!
Benjamin’s exciting adventure to Florida began after his mother, Sharon, was contacted by one of Kids Wish Network’s professional fundraisers. She was asked if she knew of any kids who might qualify for a wish and she instantly thought of her son.
At birth, Benjamin had no pulmonary artery and his aorta was coming from the wrong side of his heart. Over the years, Benjamin has had several heart surgeries. Recently, his doctors discovered a blockage in his heart; they continue to watch him carefully and are planning for surgery when the blockage gets larger. Benjamin’s heart condition prevents him from doing many of the same things as his peers and he must always be extra cautious when engaging in any sort of physical activity that could overexert his heart.
After submitting Benjamin’s name to Kids Wish Network, Sharon completed the application process and was thrilled to later learn that her special son was indeed eligible for a wish come true. Benjamin knew just what he wanted to do: he wanted to visit Disney World!
Benjamin’s Kids Wish Network Wish Coordinator, immediately began the arrangements to make his dream come true. She not only secured airline tickets and theme park passes, she also booked hotel accommodations, made dinner reservations for the family at area restaurants, arranged for spending money and more. Benjamin was in for a truly amazing wish adventure!
During Benjamin’s exciting trip to Orlando he and his family visited the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Universal Studios. “It was spectacular,” said Sharon of the time the group spent exploring the parks. “Disney is really so magical and we all felt really silly and happy and lighthearted. Ben had so much fun!”
Benjamin especially enjoyed hitting the rides. “He loves Space Mountain,” said Sharon. “But he also loved Small World. He really loved everything about it all; he was so excited to be there!” She said he also got a huge kick out of watching the fabulous fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom. “That was just magical!”
The family also stopped by famed tourist spot, the Pirates Dinner Adventure Theater. “That was so much fun,” said Sharon. “It was really interactive. My husband was in it and the kids were in it. They had hats and swords. It was great!”
Benjamin returned home from his trip with lots of pictures and even more wonderful memories. “It was just spectacular,” said Sharon. “Ben had a blast! We are really grateful that there are people out there who do things for other people like this. It’s amazing!”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Benjamin’s wish extra special: The Florida Mall Hotel, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, Oak Lawn Rotary, Olive Garden, Pirates Dinner Adventure Theater, The Titanic Exhibit, and Wonderworks.