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Meeting through Kids Wish Network

International children’s charity Kids Wish Network commends Elijah Wood for helping make a dream come true for Eldorado teenager. Jaynna, who suffers from Rasmussen’s Encephalitis. Jaynna had the opportunity to meet Elijah Wood of Lord of the Rings on an all expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles. Kids Wish Network is a Florida-based organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations.

"Bringing smiles to the faces of children in need is a joy unlike none other. With the compassionate support of partners like Elijah Wood, we are able to make a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of children every year," said Anna Lanzatella, Executive Director of the Kids Wish Network.

Just a few years ago, Jaynna’s life changed dramatically when she was diagnosed with a condition known as Rasmussen’s Encephalitis, a disease of the central nervous system. It is characterized by seizures, paralysis, and inflammation of the brain. The disease has profoundly affected the left side of Jaynna’s brain, which has caused her difficulty with mobility, coordination and speech. She also tires easily and must take numerous medications to help control the seizures. In addition, Jaynna has immune antibody infusions once a month.

Joy, Jaynna’s mom, said that the entire experience was amazing. "Elijah was very attentive to her; he was very down to earth and so good with her!" Admittedly at first, Jaynna was nearly speechless with awe, but Joy said that Elijah quickly broke the ice. "Teasingly, he reached over and took some french fries off of her plate. That blew her mind – she thought it was so wonderful!" Elijah also spent time signing things for Jaynna, including her diary. "That was so cool!" said Jaynna breathlessly. "I’m keeping it right by my bed!" Before leaving, Jaynna presented him with a teddy bear and a Kids Wish Network Guardian Angel coin. "He really liked that!" she said.

Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for making Jaynna’s ultimate wish come true: Elijah Wood, ALS Limousine, Brick House Kitchen, Frontier Airlines, Hard Rock Café, Mel’s Drive-In, Normal Lewis Limousines, Saddle Ranch Chop House, Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas and Universal Studios California.

Every child deserves a chance at happiness; a wish is a way of bringing them that joy. If you would like to sponsor a child’s wish or if you know a child who is suffering from a life threatening illness and may be in need of Kids Wish Network’s wish granting services, please call 727-937-3600 or toll free 888-918-9004. -Jaynna

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