MADISONVILLE, Ky. (July 2019): Laila Engel-Deppe is your typical little girl that loves Disney princesses, with her favorites being Elsa and Anna, she dreams of meeting them one day at Cinderella’s Castle. But, when she grows up she wants to be a police officer. Kids Wish Network, a children’s charity that grants wishes for kids with life-threatening illnesses joined forces with the Madisonville Police Department to make Laila’s dreams come true.
Laila suffers from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome which caused her to have over 100 seizures a day. Through special medical procedures doctors were able to reduce that number to 1 to 4 seizures a week however she still needs to be medically monitored. Laila’s wish began when she arrived at the Madisonville Police Department, where she was presented with her own custom uniform and badge and sworn in as a junior officer by police chief Chris Taylor. After her swearing-in ceremony, honorary officer Engel-Deppe rode in a police cruiser and radioed other officers. Afterwards, she got to sound the siren while sitting on a police motorcycle. The police department special ordered a cake with her name and new title on it, welcoming her into the department.
Upon her return back to the station from her police escort around town, the other officers introduced her to her surprise guests. The moment she saw them she rushed to give them all a great big hug. Laila was greeted by five Disney princesses including her favorite character of all, Elsa. The princesses then revealed that the honorary officer would be going to the most magical place on Earth, Disney World! Laila jumped for joy when she heard the news and can’t wait to see the rest of her favorite Disney characters.
Her Disney trip was magical and she got to visit every park, her favorite was Animal Kingdom. She loved the rides, especially Expedition Everest. Mickey Mouse even surprised her with a special certificate to see the fireworks display at Magic Kingdom. “I loved seeing her face, she was the happiest little girl there ever could have been,” said Laila’s mom Rose.
“Laila’s magical wish trip gave her time away from medical stresses to just have fun and enjoy being a kid,” said Kids Wish Network Executive Director Tam Lai.
Kids Wish Network is a national charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children with life-threatening conditions and struggling with life-altering situations. KWN provides trip expenses, meals, accommodations and additional spending monies to all wish families whenever traveling as applicable. Visit www.kidswishnetwork.org to learn about our different programs, and find out how you can help make dreams come true and sponsor a wish for a deserving child.