A wish that results with a happy ending has, so far, eluded Kristi Kath. But with Make-A-Wish North Texas entering her life for a second time, she is hoping the dreams and wishes she has for her little girl will come true.
Among the ornaments on her Christmas tree at her home in Mesquite, Kath has homemade ornaments with pictures of her two little girls. Sisters who never met each other. The first daughter was Jessica.
“She was 19 when she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure,” she said of the daughter who suffered from a blood disorder most of her life. “Transplant at 20, and was in heaven by 22.”
But in her short life, Jessica was one of the first in the Dallas area to be granted a wish by Make-A-Wish North Texas. It was a trip to Disney World to mingle with the cast of characters she adored. And it was gift that meant so much that near the end of her life she was even able to work as an intern there and perform as a Disney character herself.
Then, her mom’s life changed again.
“The day Jessica went to heaven I asked God what am I supposed to do now? All I know how to do is be a mom. Two weeks after Jessica went to heaven we found out that I was three months pregnant with KariAnn.”
KariAnn is now seven years old but has health problems of her own. Around the age of three she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma: cancer. And while she has been treated successfully so far with surgery, doctors can’t make any promises about a long-term prognosis.
So Make-A-Wish entered their lives again. And in trying to determine what wish would fit her best, gave her a coloring book and asked her to draw her wish. With crayons she drew a rocket ship with herself inside on a trip to outer space — to meet her big sister in heaven.
“It made me think how special my little girl is,” Kath said. “That instead of wishing for Barbie dolls or trips or something like that that she wanted to go meet her sister.”
Instead, KariAnn’s mom, and the folks at Make-A-Wish offered a more down to earth idea. They held a pep rally at her school, Beasley Elementary. But it was all a ruse to surprise KariAnn. With all of her classmates cheering, Mickey Mouse appeared through a back doorway and she and her mom were presented with a July trip on a Disney Cruise.
“This is the most amazing day ever,” Kristi Kath said as the crowd of elementary students cheered.
“It’s just amazing what the people at Make-A-Wish can do to make it something the kids can look forward to.”
“Jessica’s smile was infectious. It was amazing. And I see he same thing in KariAnn. The happiness. The wanting to help other people.”
But now with Make-A-Wish helping this family for a second time, for KariAnn, heaven can wait.
“Is that going to be fun,” her mom asked her about the surprise Disney Cruise.
“It’s amazing,” KariAnn exclaimed.
With prayers for an amazing lifetime of wishes still to come true.
For more information on Make-A-Wish North Texas visit: http://ntx.wish.org/