Westland Girl Meets Dolly Parton Thanks to Kids Wish Network
Elizabeth Perez, Kids Wish Network
When Brenda asked her daughter Amanda what she wanted if she could have any wish, Brenda already knew that Amanda would say she’d want to meet country star Dolly Parton.
“Amanda just thinks the woman is amazing. She always has. She loves her music, her literacy program and all she does,” Brenda said.
And when national charity Kids Wish Network gave Amanda the opportunity to meet Parton, it didn’t even matter to Amanda that her mom couldn’t get off work to go. The family was told they could wait to meet Parton in the spring when Brenda could get time off, but Amanda didn’t want to wait.
“She said, ‘No. Dad and I are going now,’” Brenda said with a smile.
The once in a lifetime wish experience came true after Brenda, searching for information on Amanda’s medical condition came across an article about a little boy with the same condition who had a wish granted by Kids Wish Network. Amanda suffers from Chiari malformation and syringomyelia. This is an illness in which the brain intrudes on the spinal column, putting extreme pressure on it. Amanda has developed fluid-filled cavities in her spinal column, which increases the pressure on her nerves. Although she has endured various medical procedures and surgeries, Amanda still has to be closely monitored and take daily medication.
After doing a little research, Brenda submitted Amanda’s name to Kids Wish Network and soon received a wish application. Before Amanda and her father knew it, they were on their way from Michigan to Tennessee to meet Amanda’s hero.
Although Brenda didn’t get to attend the wish trip, she said Amanda kept her updated the whole time.
“Amanda texted me right after she met Dolly and said she was amazing. She said she thought Dolly was genuinely concerned,” Brenda said. “And Amanda’s dad said it was like the two of them [Amanda and Parton] bonded. It was incredible.”
Aside from meeting Parton, Kids Wish Network set up an itinerary full of things for Amanda and her dad including round-trip flights, accommodations at The Inn at Christmas Place, tickets to Dollywood, a rental car, spending money, various dinners while in Tennessee and attendance at the Black Bear Jamboree. Brenda said Amanda loved everything.
“She loved Dolly’s show and the Black Bear Jamboree. Everything they did she told me about. She got to see all the things she wanted to see. She loved the food and everyone treated her nice,” she said. “I am very appreciate and Kids Wish Network an amazing job.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Amanda’s wish extra special: The Inn at Christmas Place, Thrifty Car Rental, Smoky Mountain Brewery, Black Bear Jamboree, Mellow Mushroom, South Fork Limousine Service, and Dolly Parton.
Kids Wish Network is a national charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations. Kids Wish Network assists children and their families through several key programs. 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.