NASHVILLE, Tenn. (December 2019): Journi believes in the magic of Christmas, and being a princess in a parade was on the top of her wish list. Fabled Santa, the premiere Santa of the south, visited Journi at her home to share some enchanting news. Kids Wish Network, a children’s charity that grants wishes for kids with life-threatening illnesses, would be bestowing her with royal status in the 66th annual Nashville Christmas Parade.
Nashville’s holiday spirit was everywhere. Journi and her family were indulged in luxurious accommodations at the Westin Nashville. “When we opened the door to our room, it was like walking into a wonderland,” said her mom Stephanie. There were pink and white balloons, and many gifts including a girly pastel tent celebrating her arrival. Their corner room’s floor to ceiling windows framed downtown Nashville’s dazzling city lights. The hotel also preselected Journi and her family to ride on their train float in the spectacular Nashville Christmas Parade. Before the wish, Kids Wish Network purchased her family a Macy’s gift card to outfit them in matching attire for their appearance in the festive parade.
On her big day, Journi’s excitement began meeting Miss Tennessee Volunteer 2019 Kerri Arnold. Journi also looked royal in her holiday finery and beautiful crown of flowers by FLWR Shop who also provided the carnations for Journi to toss along the parade route. She said, ”I’m going to be famous!” Journi also threw candy and mastered her perfect princess wave. “She was excited every time a child would run up to her for candy,” said her mom.
After the parade, Kids Wish Network continued Journi’s holiday experience with tickets to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Musical at the Grand Ole Opry House. Her family also took in all the wonderment of lights and decked out Christmas trees at Opryland. During the wish, they enjoyed a memorable dinner at the Rainforest Café, who seated them at a special table and showered Journi with gifts.
Journi was born with Chiari malformation and an atrial heart defect. Even after undergoing two major surgeries, she continues to have ongoing challenges. “She deals with a lot and has doctor appointments every day, so it was wonderful seeing her happy throughout her whole wish,” said her mom.
“We’re thrilled we could give Journi a wish abundant with magical holiday experiences, and memories that will continue to fill her with joy,” said Kids Wish Network Executive Director Tam Lai.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following sponsors for making Journi’s dreams become a reality:
- Westin Nashville
- Rainforest Cafe
- Fabled Santa
- FLWR Shop