Grace Meets the Cast of Phantom of the Opera in New York City!
Grace was born with Congenital Nephrotic Syndrome, a chronic kidney disease in which her kidneys leaked protein and made her deathly ill as an infant. Mom had to leave her job to stay home with her full time. As she was still very tiny, mom would take her to the hospital in Jackson MS 3-4 days a week to replace the protein with infusions. Without these proteins that she was losing in her urine, she would not survive.
At nine months old, Grace had her kidneys removed and she was put on dialysis. Just before her 1st birthday, she got an infection that antibiotics wouldn’t take care of. She and mom rode in an ambulance to UAB (almost 4 hours away from home) where they would stay for about 7 months. While there she went to the clinic for dialysis 5 days a week. After a couple months, she was large enough to be placed on the wait list to receive a new kidney. On May 18, 2007, a call that changed everything was answered. There was a donor for Grace. She received her kidney transplant on May 19, 2007, at 15 months old.
Grace gave her kidney the name Kevin. Kevin has been with Grace for over 15 years. He’s aged and will ultimately give out. It is inevitable that Grace will need an additional transplant. While her immune system is compromised and she’ll take daily meds for the rest of her life, Grace lives each day as normally as possible. She enjoys painting, shopping, collecting snow globes, and scrapbooking. She works hard to overcome so much in her life. Mom says, “Grace is the best little person I know with absolutely the biggest heart!”
Grace is finally well enough to enjoy her Wish. She wished to go to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Her biggest wish was to meet the cast backstage, but just being at the show would make Grace happy. Children’s Wish foundation fulfilled her Wish to the fullest. Grace and her family traveled to New York City where Grace had the opportunity of a lifetime. The family attended Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. As they were sitting down, one of the managers came and retrieved the Phantom of the Opera book that Children’s Wish Foundation previously purchased for Grace. He brought the book to be signed by the cast. After the show, the same manager came back to Grace and her family and escorted them to the back where they met cast! Grace’s face lit up when she realized what she was seeing. Her eyes got huge – and she said, “no way!?!” She was so excited and anxious (in a good way). The cast was so gracious and made Grace feel like a VIP. They spent time with Grace after the show, and the dancers gave her a signed pair of ballet shoes!
The next few days, Grace and her family spent their time in New York seeing the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Times Square, and did some shopping. They also spent one day at the Museum of Modern Art! Mom called us after the trip and said, “We’ve made memories to last her lifetime. I cannot thank your organization enough. It was so special.”
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