Making a child#8217;s wish come true

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Savannah Daniels is getting her wish — to get to go to Disney World.

The eight year old has Arnold Chiari Malformation, which according to the Nation Institutes of Health, is structural defects in the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls balance. The defect can cause a range of symptoms including dizziness, muscle weakness, numbness, vision problems, headache, and problems with balance and coordination.

Savannah has trouble speaking because her ailment has caused development problems but her mother, Karla, can already tell that her daughter will be excited to be in the Magic Kingdom.

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“Every time we see the ads, she just squeals,” Karla said on Thursday. The family was taken by limousine from Ironton to the Tri-State Airport in Huntington, W.Va. on Saturday.

Karla said that she, Savannah, and her 18-year-old daughter, Katie Carpenter, had trouble sleeping as they anticipated their trip.

When asked by the Make-A-Wish Foundation if there was anything Savannah wanted, Karla immediately thought of Disney World but it was delayed for a year.

“Every time she sees the ad on TV, she just smiles. She’s all teeth,” Karla said. “So I thought we would do that.”

Karla already knows where she is taking Savannah in the Magic Kingdom — for a ride on the train.

“Every time she saw the train on the video, she would just rock the rocking chair so fast her feet wouldn’t touch the ground.

“I think it’s the kids, the movement, the excitement,” Karla said. “She just gets so animated.”

Karla said that Savannah has done far more than the doctors ever expected.

“She wasn’t supposed to walk and she has walked on her own for the past three years,” she said. “She can talk but it isn’t full sentences but we understand what she wants.”

What Karla is looking forward to on the trip is pretty simple.

“I just can’t wait to see the looks on my girls’ faces,” she said.

“It’s not about me, it is about them.”