At 9 years old, Roman was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that can cause loose skin, stretchy joints, and abnormal scar formation. As a result of his condition, Roman had to have his skull fused to his neck in order to stabilize his spine and reduce high pressure buildup on his brain. Roman has had multiple surgeries throughout his life in order to maintain his condition and prevent it from worsening. Roman also suffers from intracranial hypertension and pulmonary arteriovenous malformations.
Roman lives his life differently than most other kids. Aside from his surgeries, Roman has regular medical visits with a neurologist, neurosurgeon, cardiologist and a plethora of other doctors. Because of Roman’s condition, he cannot enjoy most fun childhood activities like playing sports or riding rollercoasters. Despite everything that Roman must endure, he maintains a brave and sunny attitude in order to persevere. He excels at school and wants to become a surgeon when he gets older so that he can help heal others.
Roman loves theatre and played a part in a high school production of Les Misérables. But it had always been a dream of Roman’s to be able to go on a backstage tour of a live production. Kids Wish Network set the stage for an authentic Broadway experience by sending Roman and his family to Norfolk, Virginia. Roman’s dreams were made reality when Kids Wish Network purchased theatre tickets for him and his family to see a live performance of the musical phenomenon Les Misérables at Chrysler Hall. And there would be more special moments as well.
Roman was ecstatic for his wish, and loved every second of the play. Yet it wasn’t until after the show that things really got exciting – Roman went on a special backstage tour of the production. Roman got to meet and talk with members of the cast and crew, and took pictures with the show’s actors. After the play, Roman and his family stayed at the Double Tree Hotel by Hilton Norfolk Airport. Roman and his family also enjoyed a delicious dinner at the hotel restaurant Max & Erma’s. The chef of Max & Erma’s even offered to treat Roman to a special dish of his choosing.
“He hasn’t stopped talking about the backstage tour since it happened,” said Roman’s mom Pamela.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following sponsors for making Roman’s dreams become a reality:
- Chrysler Hall
- DoubleTree by Hilton
- Max & Irma’s