Guest Blog by Lori Cribbs (Allison Chudy’s Mother)
I caught wind of Kids Wish Network (KWN) through an online support group for parents with children who have the same illness my daughter has. After doing some research, I found out that KWN grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. While there are other organizations for children who have terminal illnesses, KWN differs by granting wishes to kids who are not necessarily terminal, but definitely deal with things that no child should ever deal with.
My daughter Allison had to grow up quickly and face adult issues as a child. So when I heard about KWN, I immediately submitted an application, because I wanted to see if maybe she could have just a small iota of a normal childhood. Turns out, KWN did not provide a taste of normal childhood…they provided an EXTRAORDINARILY AMAZING wish that was far, far out of the realms of ordinary, and greatly exceeded our expectations! We ended up working with our Wish Coordinator, Shelby, who was excellent at communicating and made us all feel comfortable.
Before the “big reveal,” my daughter and Shelby were video-chatting and my daughter found out she was receiving a shopping spree at a massive mall a couple hours away. As if that wasn’t awesome enough, when we received the “official” reveal package, my daughter was absolutely blown away. Not only was she getting a shopping spree spread out over two days, they were putting us all in a hotel, providing our meals, and just spoiling my daughter. Turns out, we had no idea just how far KWN and the sponsors had gone to make my daughter’s wish come true.
Every single store was expecting us. They were all anxiously awaiting her arrival and they all went above and beyond! My daughter got her hair completely styled, her makeup done not once, but twice! She had a personal shopper, gift cards, gifts, flowers…just the royal treatment any teenage girl would absolutely love! For the first time in a very long time, my daughter was beaming ear-to-ear! She seemed like such a little girl suddenly…not some teenager who has the weight of the world on her shoulders. She said to me, “Mom, my cheeks hurt!” She too wasn’t used to smiling that way. This mama had tears.
This was all possible because of Kids Wish Network. I cannot recommend them enough. If you have a child with a life-threatening illness, take the leap and submit an application. Follow them on Facebook and see the vast array of wishes they grant. If you do not have a child with a life-threatening illness, consider donating or becoming a sponsor. This is such a wonderful organization! They will forever hold a special place in our hearts!