A Big Sister’s Story of Hope

by gktwadmin on January 30, 2013

in The Family Experience

A wish trip to Give Kids The World is a magical experience for the whole family, including siblings.  This heartwarming story comes from Ineke, the sister of Joseph, an alumni wish child.

To say someone has witnessed a miracle is way more farfetched than it is. Give Kids The World is represented with a symbolic key word, “miracle.” Describing a vacation at this magical place is impossible to do without using the word “miracle” more than once. My family had the pleasure of accompanying my brother Joseph for six, fun-filled days at the Village in December of 2011. It is now over one year later, and we are still beaming from the everlasting joy Give Kids The World gave us.


Joseph was diagnosed with epilepsy and autism during early infancy, and throughout his life his autism became a prevalent challenge. Unfortunately, when he started puberty his epilepsy took a turn for the worst and his seizures became a daily, life-threatening horror. Within one year, Joseph had two major neurosurgeries to help control his seizures. Shortly following his surgeries he was put on a homebound school program because he was, and still is, too sick to attend. He remained happy through everything he endured, a joyful individual with one dream – to meet the love of his life, Tinker Bell. Through Children’s Hospital and Magic Moments, not only did Joe get to meet his girl, but he got to have the time of his life at Give Kids The World.

We had no idea what was in store for us when we arrived in Kissimmee on that warm December day. As soon as our rental van made it through the front gate for the first time, our worries immediately vanished and our hearts grew in size from so much compassion. The Village was stitched with love and full of adventure every square inch. Joseph was actually sick for two of the days there, and even just lounging around the Village gave him the biggest smile. Some of his favorite venues at the Village were the Ice Cream Palace, the pool, and the carousel. He also loved our cute villa that we stayed in. To this day, Joseph lights up when talking about the magical CANDY LAND. His pictures from our wish trip are displayed all over the walls in his playroom. His treasured Mickey Mouse can also be found tucked away in his playroom, a gift that was given to him on the first day of his trip to the Village.

Ineke_Imb2There are no words to describe the happiness Give Kids the World brings (with sprinkles and a cherry on top) to wish families. Our family has been locked in – away from happy, colorful life for so long due to the fear of today being the day “that seizure” happens. At the Village, all of those thoughts were shelved, and we all felt pure bliss for the first time in a long time. Just thinking about this trip brings tears to my eyes. The wonderful, angelic, compassionate people who make Give Kids The World possible are truly amazing. The greatest “miracle” the Village gave us was hope that the future will be bright and beautiful for Joseph, and that is the greatest miracle of all.


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