Kim and Terry welcomed Sami into the world in 2000. They were thrilled to be new parents and pictured everything they could ever hope for their new baby girl. Sadly, at nine months old, Sami was diagnosed with a genetic disorder affecting her liver. They were devastated.
Two years later, when their precious son Kyle was born, he also was diagnosed with the same condition.
The hospital became a regular scene for their family. Kim watched as her children faced years of appointments, medications, pokes, prods and tests.
Kyle received his liver transplant at 19 months old. After a year and a half without issues, there were signs his new liver wasn’t functioning as well. This lead to months of hospitalizations and medical procedures, to determine what was wrong.
Kyle returned to the hospital for another liver biopsy and at the same time Sami underwent surgery to get a new liver of her own. “It was really crazy and stressful” Kim said. It was during this hectic time, Kim and Terry discovered both Sami and Kyle were eligible to receive wishes from Make-A-Wish® Minnesota.
Sami wished to go on a Disney® cruise to meet all her favorite Disney® characters, while Kyle loved hockey and wished to meet his favorite team - the Minnesota Wild
Kyle and Sami’s wishes came true in 2007. Sami loved exploring the cruise ship and couldn’t believe her eyes when she was face to face with her favorite Disney® characters. Kim says Kyle’s wish gave him pure joy as he watched the Wild practice at the Xcel Energy Center, rode the Zamboni and met his favorite players.
“Given the years we had just gone through, it was so wonderful and heartwarming to see smiles on their faces,” Kim said.
Today, Sami and Kyle are your typical teenagers. They are involved in sports and like to spend time with their friends. While they occasionally have transplant related health challenges, aside from regular medications and monthly lab tests, Kim says they lead pretty normal lives.
After their wish experiences, Kim wanted to get involved with Make-A-Wish® and help wishes come true for other kids like Sami and Kyle. She serves as a member of the organization’s finance committee, was recognized as a top fundraiser at the 2016 Walk For Wishes® Twin Cities, and will share her Make-A-Wish experience with everyone.
“Make-A-Wish gave our family opportunities to relax, be happy and enjoy doing normal things without thinking about the doctors and all the other medical stuff the kids dealt with on a regular basis,” Kim said. “Being part of an organization that is so supportive, and is doing such wonderful things in our community is so meaningful to me.”
Discover all the ways you can get involved and help create life-changing experiences for Minnesota wish kids at mn.wish.org/WaysToHelp.