RACINE, Wis. - A young girl with a life-threatening spinal disorder enjoyed the wish of her life by visiting the set of the hit TV series NCIS through the generosity of national children’s charity Kids Wish Network as well as sponsors in both Hollywood and Wisconsin.
When she was 11, Carly woke up one day with a neck ache and within an hour she was being life-flighted to the hospital after she stopped breathing. Upon waking in the hospital, Carly found that she could no longer walk, could barely talk and could not move her arms and legs. Her doctors determined that she had suffered a blood clot in her spine that caused a severe spinal stroke, leaving her a quadriplegic.
In the years since her initial hospitalization, Carly has worked hard at various therapies and rehabilitation clinics to regain her abilities to talk, move her body and even walk with the assistance of a platform walker; Carly has come a tremendously long way.
It was a family friend familiar with Carly’s struggle who first put Carly’s mother Sheri in contact with national children’s charity Kids Wish Network. Sheri exchanged paperwork with the charity’s wish department and soon found out that Carly was approved to have her wish granted; Carly asked to visit the set of her favorite TV show, NCIS.
With the help of some outstanding local sponsors and sponsors in Hollywood, Carly’s Kids Wish Network wish coordinator arranged for Carly and her family to enjoy all sorts of experiences on Carly’s wish trip including fabulous accommodations at The Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, dinners every night, tickets to Universal Studios as well as other fun attractions and, of course, the visit to the set of NCIS.
“It was amazing,” said Sheri of her daughter’s wish trip. “The whole thing was amazing. We got the royal treatment everywhere!”
According to Sheri, “the royal treatment” extended to limousine rides, a beautiful view of the Hollywood sign from the family’s suite at The Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, VIP passes at Universal Studios, special treats and gifts during their dinner at the Saddle Ranch Chop House and even some fantastic surprises on the set of NCIS. Though she enjoyed everything, the visit to the set of her favorite show was definitely the highlight of Carly’s wish trip.
“It was nothing like we expected,” said Sheri. “It was just too amazing!”
While on the NCIS set, Carly was able to enjoy a special tour, meet actor Mark Harmon and actress Pauley Perrette (who play Carly’s two favorite characters), eat lunch on set and even watch the taping of an episode.
“Mark Harmon was wonderful,” said Sheri. “He was so nice.” During the set tour, Mark even took Carly to the “interrogation room” set of NCIS and made her part of a special interrogation!
As for Pauley Perrette, according to Sheri, “she was just amazing. Abby [the character played by Perrette] is Carly’s favorite character and it was just amazing for her...the girls made a scrapbook [showing Carly’s story] and Pauley was amazed and interested in it all. She was so sweet.” Pauley also said that the scrapbook would make an appearance on the desk of her NCIS character Abby in the future and that Carly should watch for it.
To top it all off, Carly was given a special NCIS hat worn only on the show as well as a shirt from Pauley Perrette’s “Abby” wardrobe.
“It was a wish granted and then some,” said Sheri. “It was really like a couple of wishes!”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Carly’s wish extra special: NCIS, Wal-Mart #2452, Wal-Mart #2936, Wal-Mart #5432, CNH, AirTran, Universal Studios, ALS Limousine, Exquisite Limo and Sedan, The Hollywood Wax Museum, Guinness World of Records Museum, Saddle Ranch Chop House and California Pizza Kitchen.
Kids Wish Network is a nationally recognized non-profit organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children in crisis. 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