Kevin is no stranger to struggling with his health. Diagnosed at birth with a seizure condition that keeps him in a wheelchair most of the time, Kevin is now 15 and an avid animal lover. He finds joy in his therapeutic horseback riding and watching shows like the Mickey Mouse Club at his home in Grayslake. However, Kevin’s father said nothing has ever enthralled him like the movie “Dolphin Tale.” His father says he seems to relate to the real-life story of Winter, a dolphin who recovers from the loss of a fin and that no matter how many times they show him the movie he watches with devoted attention.
Kevin’s wish was to meet the star of the film, his favorite dolphin Winter. Make-A-Wish arranged for the family to visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida and Kevin got to pet Winter and watch her undergo her own therapy. Kevin’s father says that he watched intently for almost half an hour without being distracted and “didn’t turn away once.”
On their trip, the family also got to take a boat tour of the area, explore Saint Petersburg, and go to Busch Gardens. There, Kevin’s mom and sister rode roller coasters while he was thrilled to see even more animals, including rhinos and giraffes.
Kevin’s father says he knows Kevin will never forget the experience. From the airline to the hotel to the aquarium, the family “couldn’t ask for anything more.” He urges other families whose children have life-threatening medical conditions to contact Make-A-Wish because of how positively it impacted Kevin.