"The best part of McKenzie’s wish was everyone who helped create an experience that meant the world to McKenzie."
- Amelia, Wish Mom
McKenzie was born a healthy, happy baby, but six weeks following her birth, McKenzie was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Growing up, McKenzie’s biggest challenge was missing out on the normal everyday things because of her susceptible nervous system. Activities are limited depending on air quality outside and typical family outings such as attending carnivals or even sitting around a campfire, are increasingly difficult to do. Life became more of a routine as so many details were needed to take into consideration before leaving the house. These considerations impacted her life daily and McKenzie longed for an escape that would allow her to not worry and just have fun!
When McKenzie met with her wish granting volunteers, it was apparent that McKenzie loved Spongebob. It was by far her favorite character and McKenzie watched Spongebob Squarepants every night before going to bed. McKenzie loved cuddling with her mom and giggling at the funny adventures of Spongebob and Patrick Star. This was a show she enjoyed no matter what and helped McKenzie in the best of times as well as getting through the difficult times. After working with her family and planning the perfect wish for McKenzie, her friends, family, and wish granters gathered to reveal her wish was coming true and McKenzie was ecstatic.
When her flight to Orlando lifted off, McKenzie’s wish started off on the right note. McKenzie’s wish was to meet Spongebob but getting to ride in a plane was the icing on the cake. McKenzie was already loving her experience, but the best was yet to come. When McKenzie and her family finally landed in sunny Florida, she was extremely excited to meet Spongebob, but McKenzie had no clue of everything planned for her on her wish.
On top of meeting Mr. Squarepants, spending time in Walt Disney World® and Universal Studios®, McKenzie was able to explore and enjoy quality time with her family without worries. After long days of meeting countless characters and enjoying many rides the family would stay at Give Kids the World Village®. “GKTW was awesome, I loved the unlimited ice cream and the swimming best,” says McKenzie. She also enjoyed soaking all of it up in the Florida sun, with a constant beaming smile on her face.
Throughout the whole experience, it was great for her family to watch McKenzie truly enjoy all aspects of the wish and forget about the check-ups and hospital trips. Everyone involved with the trip wanted to allow McKenzie to live out her childhood dream. “McKenzie was extremely happy to meet Spongebob, but it was everything about her wish that she enjoyed,” explains Amelia, McKenzie’s mom. McKenzie will always remember her wish to meet Spongebob, but her many memories and connections made on her trip will stay with her for the rest of her life.