PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Kids Wish Network made 8-year-old Peekskill native Angelina Rios’ dream a reality by arranging for her to meet her favorite actors and gospel music sensations, David and Tamela Mann.
The "It’s a Manns World" and "Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns" television stars spent the afternoon with Angelina at the Doubletree by Hilton in Fort Lee, N.J.
The Manns took a break from the production schedule for their television show to spend quality time with Angelina. The couple, accompanied by their daughter Tia, shared stories from their everyday lives as well as their path to success through hope and determination. “We were excited to spend some time with Angelina – she’s such a joy!” said Tamela and David. “Kids Wish Network is a great organization, and we were honored to help fulfill Angelina’s wish,” the Manns continued.
When Angelina was only three, doctors discovered that she had Chiari 1 malformation, a tethered spinal cord, and a seizure disorder. Chiari 1 malformation occurs when the back of the skull is too small and crowds the brain, forcing some of the cerebellum down the spinal column. The brain tissue that extends into the spinal canal puts pressure on the brain. Angelina has had both cranial surgery for the Chiari 1 malformation and spinal surgery for the tethered cord. She goes to physical therapy and speech therapy on a regular basis.
Angelina takes muscle relaxers for her tethered cord and medication to manage her seizures. Every few months, she goes into the hospital for another MRI and c-spine x-ray to monitor her Chiari 1 malformation.
Despite her life-threatening illnesses, Angelina is a sweet little girl with a love of gospel music, and one duo that always brings a smile to her face is the Manns. “Simply spending an afternoon with someone that they admire, look up to, and view as a role model is a beautiful gift that can bring untold hope to a sick child,” said Anna Lanzatella, Executive Director of Kids Wish Network. “The positive experience is something that child will be able to draw inspiration and strength from in the future.”
Angelina also enjoyed luxury accommodations at the Roosevelt Hotel and arrived at her special lunch date in a limousine courtesy of US Limousine Service.
Kids Wish Network is a national charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations.
Visit www.kidswishnetwork.org to learn more and find out how you can help makes dreams come true and sponsor a wish for a deserving child