EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – A deserving local girl and her family just received the surprise of a lifetime: an all-expenses paid trip to Florida’s major theme parks.
After the challenges they’ve faced in life, they’re getting the chance to make some precious memories.
On Wednesday, 9-year-old Kate Tucker and her siblings thought they were just going to Panera Bread for a delicious treat.
Little did they know, they’d be getting something much sweeter.
They were surprised with an all-expenses paid trip to Florida to all of the state’s major theme parks!
It’s a well-deserved surprise for this family and little girl.
“She has this larger-than-life personality, as you’ve already seen, never met a stranger,” said Kate’s dad, Heath Tucker.
Adopted by her parents Heath and Randi Tucker when she was just a baby – Kate has Williams Syndrome – a rare genetic neurological disorder.
During a life-saving heart surgery, Kate suffered a stroke – leaving her paralyzed.
“But she’s the happiest girl that this girl you ever see,” Heath said.
Now, the happiest girl will be going to the happiest place on earth.
The Tucker family’s upcoming trip, including Disney World and Universal Studios, is all thanks to Baking Memories 4 Kids – a foundation that raises funds by chocolate chip cookies around the holidays and collecting donations from Panera Bread customers who round up their change to the nearest dollar.
Cancer survivor Frank Squeo started it 10 years ago to help children with health challenges and their families make precious memories.
“We sent a child last year and three months later the child was in heaven,” Squeo told News 4. “You’re giving a gift of memories, which is priceless.”
The Tuckers say it’s the chance of a lifetime for their little girl – and her loving siblings.
“I think that there’s always someone who has it worse or who is more deserving of something of a blessing than we are,” said Kate’s mom, Randi Tucker. “But I look at her and I look at our kids who have walked with her through this, and it is if anyone deserves some fun and a little break, it’s them.”
The family will get to go on their vacation in March. Kate’s teacher is already helping her work on a countdown calendar.