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Kids Wish Network grants tropical wish to Auburn-area cystic fibrosis warrior
For the Reporter
If you just take a quick glance, Kylie Latta doesn't look like she's sick, but the 11-year-old Auburn girl has been dealing with a life-threatening illness since birth.
With a shortened life expectancy, Kylie and her family know the value of a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, like the tropical wish recently granted to Kylie by Florida-based children's charity Kids Wish Network.
Kylie qualified for a wish with the organization, one of 30,000 U.S. children and adults suffering from cystic fibrosis. The genetic disease causes the body to produce mucus that's extremely thick and sticky and mainly affects the lungs and pancreas. Kylie was diagnosed at birth and has struggled to stay out of the hospital ever since. She receives therapy for her lungs multiple times a day and is home schooled as a preventative measure to limit her exposure to viral pathogens and other germs.
When Kylie was told Kids Wish Network was granting her a wish, she knew exactly where she wanted to go: tropical Hawaii. The charitable organization sent Kylie and her family on an all-expense paid wish trip to the island paradise where they stayed at amazing accommodations, experienced local culture and soaked up the sun and salty air.
"My favorite part about my trip was swimming with the dolphins," Kylie said. "They were really friendly and well trained. I was able to signal the dolphin to do a flip."
"Thank you, Kids Wish Network, for making this possible for my family," said Kylie's mom, Terri. "But as much fun as we had, it's hard to forget how much cystic fibrosis stinks and impacts Kylie."
Kylie still struggles on a daily basis to stay ahead of her illness, but with proper precautions and routine, she continues to thrive and maintain a positive attitude.
Kids Wish Network and the Latta family would like to thank all the sponsors that helped granted Kylie's wish: The Sheraton Waikiki; Germaine's Luau; Waikiki Aquarium; Dole Plantation; Dolphin Quest; Ruby Tuesday; Enterprise Rent-A-Car; Honolulu Zoo Society; P.F. Chang's; California Pizza Kitchen; and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
To learn more, visit www.kidswishnetwork.org.