A little girl named Shailynn who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis recently had her wish to visit Walt Disney World granted thanks to Kids Wish Network and some outstanding sponsors from in Ohio and Florida.
Within the first year of her life, Shailynn was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. This is a chronic disease that causes mucus buildup to clog various organs including the lungs, pancreas, liver and intestines. The condition often leads to life-threatening lung infections and also interferes with food absorption. When she was six, Shailynn was hospitalized for two months because of problems with her treatments, which are twice daily treatments with both a nebulizer and a percussion vest. She is on a rigorous daily medication regimen and must take enzymes before eating to ensure that the nutrients are absorbed properly.
Shailynn’s legal guardian, her aunt Cyndi, had a friend who referred Shailynn to national children’s charity Kids Wish Network in the hopes that they could grant the little girl’s fondest wish. Once she was referred, it wasn’t long before Shailynn was telling a Kids Wish Network wish coordinator that she wanted to visit Disney World in Florida for her wish.
“She knew that this wish was for her, but Shailynn wanted something we could do as a family” and Disney World was her first choice, said Cyndi.
When they family touched down in Orlando, Cyndi said that the trip “was just one surprise after another!”
Shailynn, her little sister, her aunt and her uncle enjoyed luxurious accommodations at the Royal Plaza Hotel; Shailynn’s wish coordinator even arranged for the family to have dinners at some fantastic restaurants in Orlando every night as well. Every experience would be special for Shailynn and her family; in fact, at Mikado’s Japanese Steakhouse, the staff brought her a giant gift basket filled with lots of her favorite toys and gifts! Upon seeing the basket, Shailynn turned to her aunt with a smile and said, “Aunt Cyndi, I really DO feel special!”
On their first day in Florida, as they were heading into the Magic Kingdom, Cyndi said that “Shailynn looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, ‘Aunt Cyndi, I’m so excited! I’m trying not to cry.'”
Shailynn and her family visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom during their four day stay and they enjoyed every second of every day.
“Everything was new to them [Shailynn and her sister],” said Cyndi. “They loved everything and they were in awe…their heads were in the clouds! The whole trip was a blessing. There were so many moments where my heart just swelled to see them so happy…more kids should be able to enjoy that.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for making Shailynn’s wish such a special experience: Cortland Lions Club, Cortland Masonic Lodge #529, Cortland Moose Lodge #1012, Opal Chapter #181 Order of the Eastern Star, The Youngstown Fraternal Order of Eagles, Cortland-Bazetta F.O.P. #168, Niles F.O.P. Lodge #27, Lt. Peter Lucic: Deputy Roger Gregory – Ohio F.O.P. #137 – Trumbull Deputies, Plumbers & Pipe Fitters Local #398, Royal Plaza Hotel, Compassion Partners, WonderWorks, Pirates Dinner Adventure Theater, Wet ‘N Wild, Chili’s Bar & Grill and Mikado Japanese Steakhouse.
Kids Wish Network is a nationally recognized non-profit organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children in crisis. Every child deserves a chance at happiness; a wish is just a way of bringing them that joy. If you would like to sponsor a child’s wish or if you know a child who is suffering from a life-threatening illness and may be in need of Kids Wish Network’s wish granting services, please call 727-937-3600 or toll free 888-918-9004. For more information on Kids Wish Network, visit their website at www.kidswishnetwork.org
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