This is a day when this job really feels like a blessing because of what they're doing here at give kids the world village. What they're doing here and the message they're sending is a simple one but... See More
This is a day when this job really feels like a blessing because of what they're doing here at give kids the world village. What they're doing here and the message they're sending is a simple one but incredibly important because the people that need it most, sick kids facing life-threatening illnesses can come here and for five days with their families they can forget about doctors, they can forget about disease and they can just be kids. I want to introduce you to one girl who knows exactly what I'm talking about. ♪ Hope that really describes give kids the world. Reporter: For nearly a quarter of a century of this's been dispensing hope and love and joy to kids suffering from life-threatening illnesses. And for more than 120,000 families facing the unspeakable, it's created the most treasured memories of all. I know with all my heart that give kids the world gave me the strength to survive and to be standing here today. Reporter: Alyssa Petruska knows the power of this place. From 3 years old she was diagnosed with stage 3 kidney cancer. I had treatments of radiation and chemotherapy and nothing was working. So they put me into hospice and I was granted a wish from the make-a-wish foundation. When you have a child full of life and happy, running around and the next day it's all taken away, it's very hard. Reporter: Helpless against the ravages of the disease Alyssa's family instead turned to give kids the world to grant their brave little girl her special wish. To be a princess. And my first impression was that there was no doctor so I was safe from anything like needles. There was Christmas every Thursday and there's a 24/7 ice cream palace and there's a carousel that you can ride every day and any day you want. Anything that you could possibly imagine was there. Reporter: Before arriving Alyssa's situation could not have been more dire. I was lifeless, I wasn't laughing, I wasn't smiling ever. Reporter: But this magical place, that little girl who was put into hospice instead turned the corner. Instead of barely walking I was laughing and smiling. Anything that I could imagine I could. Reporter: She calls it the magic medicine. She is now a healthy 15-year-old sophomore in high school and while many of these stories don't have such endings, all of the families who come to give kids the world really do get to experience a miracle. One special week where their kids get to forget about being sick and simply be kids. It saved my life. And we assure you the tears today are someone. Look at Alyssa. Good morning. It's a remarkable story to hear. Thank you. When you first got here, what did you think when you walked through those doors? I knew right away that this was going to make me better. When I was in the hospital, you know, all hope was taken away from me and I started running and laughing and my family thought that this could make me better. We heard you say, you called it the magic medicine. Was it also -- what did it mean to you to have people like yourself peers who were all fighting disease? It really just helps all of us. If we come together as one and we just find that hope together and just with the volunteers and everybody just coming together as a family it really helps us. You mentioned the volunteers. They are with us today and the work they do, I know you're one now. Uh-huh. What does it mean to have all these people giving everything they can? It's -- I can't even imagine like all of you guys here, it just means so much to everybody and to give kids the world and to all of the sick children that come here and just to be able to have that inspiration, it's amazing. Well, look, it is so good to be able to hug you. Thank you. And to all of you. Look what we're going to be moving, all right. One last surprise, this thing is rolling and you're going to see a makeover you're not going to want to miss.
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