Meet Gracie. Gracie has been touched by Give Kids the World and when she shared her own experience and how much seeing her star years later touched her, we had to share it with you.
My name is Gracie Holland. I am 21 years old and I have a rare genetic disease called Crouzon Syndrome that affects the bones in the skull when they are fused together. I have had 35 surgeries, most of which have been at Children's Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. I have a VP shunt in my brain that starts in my brain and drains all the way down to my pelvis. In 2000, when I was 5 years old, I had a particular surgery that I wasn't supposed to come out alive in.
Obviously, I did. I don't remember it, but I do remember being in the hospital room and having a lady come in that said she was from a foundation called "Magic Moments". She proceeded to ask me if I could have any wish at all, what it would be. Thinking back, I probably would've chosen something else besides what I did; but, because I was only 5, I told the lady that I wanted to meet Winnie the Pooh. He was (and still is) my favorite Disney character. Clearly, the only place to be able to do that was gonna be at Walt Disney world.
I was able to go with my family and we got to stay at Give Kids the world Village in Orlando, Florida. When you get your wish granted, you can only stay in the village one time, but you can visit the village as often as you like. Sadly, I don't really remember a lot about my experience aside from pictures we took, because I was so young.
Last month, I took a trip to Disney world with some cousins, my aunt, and grandmother. On the first full day we were there, after we explored Disney, we were gonna go get something to eat. It wasn't to my knowledge that they were taking me back to Give Kids the World Village to find my star and surprise me. I was very surprised and cried tears of joy.
To learn more about the meaning behind the stars at Give Kids the World, read more here.