CHARLOTTE, N.C. (June 2018): Michael has Crohn’s disease and struggles with many serious health issues. His happiness comes from NASCAR, collecting cars and especially watching his favorite race car driver Kyle Busch. Kids Wish Network was fueled to create an amazing experience for Michael, placing him in the Winner’s Circle. Michael’s wish put him on track with NASCAR, and meeting his racing idol Kyle Busch.
The week before Michael’s wish, there was great disappointment. Michael had disturbing symptoms that prevented him from traveling, and had to postpone his trip. Due to Kyle Busch’s schedule, this was the only chance for Michael to meet him. He was devastated.
Kyle Busch graciously recorded a personalized video message for Michael, giving him encouragement to get well, stay strong and follow his career goals of becoming an automobile engineer.
Over the following days, Michael took medications to help alleviate some of his worst symptoms. A week later, he was cleared to travel.
During the wish, Michael and his dad toured Kyle Busch Motor Sports. He felt like a VIP receiving a private tour and gifts. They also visited Joe Gibbs Racing. During his private tour, he met with NASCAR Championship team owner Joe Gibbs. Michael also enjoyed behind the scenes experiences of the shop seeing the pit crew in action, special series of racing vehicles, tool department and trophies.
Then the unexpected happened… staff showed Michael a prized trophy. He was asked if he knew who won the it. Michael said, “Kyle Busch.” When Michael turned around, a staff member said, “This guy here you mean?” Kyle Busch was standing right in front of him. Michael was a little star-struck by his amazing surprise. Kyle spoke to him about the big day that he won the trophy, spent time getting to know Michael, and had signed gifts for him. “I’m glad that you were able to make it today,” said Kyle. “You got a home tour… saw me… I saw you… now our days are made.”
“Meeting Kyle Busch inspired Michael,” said his dad Michael. “It was the best present he could ever receive.”
Michael and his dad enjoyed beautiful accommodations at the Westin Charlotte. They also explored SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium and Carolinas Aviation Museum. They dined at Longhorn Steakhouse, and kindly received a gift card from the Capital Grille and tickets to the Levine Museum of the new South, since he was not feeling well and unable to attend when scheduled.
“The wish made him so happy,” said Michael’s dad. “I’ve never seen him smile as much as he did in the last 4 days.”
“It was really heartbreaking when it appeared that his dream may not come true,” said Kids Wish Network Executive Director Tam Lai. “He’s struggled so much, and it would have been another huge disappointment. We’re thrilled that Michael’s wish brought him so much happiness.”
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 those struggling with life-altering situations. Visit www.kidswishnetwork.org to learn more and find out how you can help make dreams come true and sponsor a wish for a deserving child.