It was a picture perfect wish in paradise for Alexander. He ventured to the Florida Keys with his family, having his dream come true with Kids Wish Network, a children’s charity that grants wishes for kids with life-threatening illnesses. Alexander has Chiari malformation, a structural defect of the skull that causes the bottom portion of the brain tissue to extend into the spinal canal. He also has additional conditions including craniocervical instability, platybasia and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
One of the highlights for Alex was his dolphin encounter at Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder in Key Largo. He entered a natural ocean-water lagoon having one-on-one interaction with his new dolphin friend Alfonz. Alexander connected with the dolphin spending lots of time together playing catch, signaling him to perform tricks, petting Alfonz and giving him hugs and kisses. He also enjoyed a dorsal tow ride by a dolphin duo. As a special memento, Alexander was kindly gifted a shirt and the stuffed animal of his choice – he chose a dolphin. “My favorite part was seeing his face and how happy he was with the dolphins,” said his mom Andrea. “He fell in love with them. Everyone went above and beyond for Alexander, and the experience is something he’ll never forget.”
Robbie’s Marina of Islamorada offered the family options for a tropical touring adventure, and they explored the area’s turquoise waters with a water sports activity. While in paradise, they enjoyed luxurious accommodations at the oceanfront Islander Resort, Mile Marker 82 in Islamorada. They were graciously welcomed with a gift basket filled with gifts. They also dined in postcard perfect settings at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Key West, Lorelei Restaurant & Cabana Bar in Islamorada, and were invited to Hungry Tarpon in Islamorada.
“He had a smile on his face the entire time,” said his dad Rich. Alexander’s mom jokingly shared that he’s ready to move there.
Kids Wish Network Executive Director Tam Lai said, “Experiencing such meaningful and special moments as a family creates happiness that lasts long after a wish comes true.”