When Kandice was born, doctors told her parents it was unlikely that she would survive her first 30 days of life at home. Eight years later, this shy second grader has an infectious grin and is full of life.
When given the opportunity to have anything, meet anyone, go anywhere, or be anything in the world, Kandice wished to be a zookeeper for baby cheetahs.
On her wish trip, Kandice and her family spent a week in San Diego, where they visited Belmont Park, touched sharks at Sea World, watched sea lions and seals on the beach, and visited Nature by Nurture, a privately owned ranch where Kandice held baby sloths and kangaroos and swam with baby otters.
For Kandice, the highlight of the trip was visiting the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, where she played with baby cheetahs, went behind the scenes in the park exhibits, and met a zoo veterinarian who helped her listen to animal heartbeats. Watching Kandice, who suffers from a heart condition herself, listen to the healthy heartbeats of animals was a touching moment to witness.
“I really didn’t expect all the little details,” said Kandice’s father. “I kept waiting to pay for something or have to do something, but there was nothing.” It was all taken care of.
When Make-A-Wish Kansas creates a Wish, the goal is for it to be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. No doctor’s office, no appointments, no stress. For this one week, the family’s only responsibility is to show up and enjoy creating life-affirming memories together.