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Emmanuel visits San Diego with his family

  • Emmanuel, 8, wished to go to San Diego.

  • Emmanuel, 8, wished to go to San Diego.

  • Emmanuel, 8, wished to go to San Diego.

  • Emmanuel, 8, wished to go to San Diego.

“ It was amazing seeing Emmanuel’s facial expressions since I don’t get to see him this happy that often. ”


- Erika, Emmanuel's mom

Since birth Emmanuel has suffered from a hydranencephaly, rare condition that presents with seizures and severe muscle issues that make it impossible for him to walk. Yet, as he has grown, he and his family have embraced the positive, with Emmanuel focusing on his senses of feeling and hearing.

“Emmanuel’s favorite activities involve anything with music, whether that be his music toys or a guitar,” said Erika, Emmanuel’s mother. “He also loves the feeling of being outdoors, when the wind blows on his face and anything that is soft, like animals.”  

Because of these heightened senses Emmanuel wished to go to a place where he could really utilize them. He wished to go to San Diego and SeaWorld to hear and feel all the animals.  

“We thought of San Diego because Emmanuel loves going on boat rides where he can feel the air and the movement of the boat,” said Erika. “He loves feeling the fresh air like when we roll the windows down in the car.”  

Emmanuel and his family were flown to California, which was the first time he had ever been on a plane. From there, every day created a new experience, a new happiness for the wish kid and family.   

“Our favorite part was definitely SeaWorld because we got to touch so many animals,” Erika continued. “Emmanuel’s favorite was the beluga whale because it made the most noises and he could really hear and enjoy them. It was amazing seeing Emmanuel’s facial expressions since I don’t get to see him this happy that often.”  

As a result of this trip “Emmanuel has been doing better and has been happier than ever before. He attends school daily and is standing more and thriving in therapy” said Erika.

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