Recap of Kidd’s Kids 2015

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The Kidd’s Kids trip is always a whirlwind of laughs, tears, screams, and most importantly, smiles. The 2015 trip was no different. I have been going on the Kidd’s Kids trip on and off since I was four years old when my parents put me in a van with three families to Sea World San Antonio. Obviously the trip has grown from those three families in a van to 50 families on a chartered Southwest airplane but the heart and the mission of the trip will forever be the same – to put a smile on those sweet kids’ faces.

Back in August, I took part in a Kidd’s Kids “reveal” where we surprise a family that applied for the annual trip and tell them that they are going in a fun way. I got chosen to do the reveal for ten-year-old Memphis Lafferty from the DFW area. But the reveal wasn’t with Memphis himself. It was with his dad, Chris. We had a contact that worked with Memphis’ dad so we decided to sneak attack him at work to tell him he and his son were going on the trip! Chris was in a big meeting when I ran up with Mickey Mouse balloons and honestly Chris was probably very confused. I explained to him that he and Memphis had been selected to go on our trip and he goes “Oh man, I thought I was being fired!” It was too funny and we had a good laugh about it. What I didn’t know in August is that Chris and Memphis were going to change my life forever.

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caroline cradick at disney world

Kidds kids trip to disney 2015

Memphis is a quadruple amputee. He was born a healthy baby but contracted bacterial meningitis which very quickly spread to his whole body. His family was forced to make the decision to amputate both of his legs and both of his arms. You must know that his condition does not define this little boy at all. He skateboards, plays video games and does tai kwon do, all with a huge smile on his face. I fell in love with his sarcastic, dry sense of humor (who he obviously gets from his witty dad) on the first day at Magic Kingdom. We hooked up with him at the park and we decided we were going to go ride some rides together. Memphis is wheelchair bound but can transfer in and out of his wheelchair all by himself.

We got to the Peter Pan ride (one of my favorites) and you have to get on a moving walkway to get in our little car that takes you on the ride. Memphis wasn’t able to do the walk way by himself so his dad picked him up and put him on the ride. I got in the middle of Chris and Memphis and I hear Memphis mutter something to himself. I asked, “You okay, buddy?” He replied quickly, “NO MY PANTS FELL DOWN!” I just busted out laughing and looked to see his pants on the right side were almost all off. For those of you who haven’t been on this ride, it’s pretty dark so I didn’t want to try to help him out and have it turn into a potentially very awkward situation, if you know what I mean. Chris said “well you’re just gonna have to wait until we get off the ride for me to help you!” So we literally rode the whole Peter Pan ride with Memphis “No Pants” Lafferty. I was literally in tears. Memphis was being so funny about the situation and freaking out that we had to fix him right when we got off the ride. When the ride came to an end, I jump out as fast as I could so I could hide him when dad helped him pull his pants up. All was well. We get off the ride and Chris says “Thank God it wasn’t thong Thursday!” which had our crew in hysterics. For some weird reason, this was literally my favorite memory from the 2015 trip. The fact that we were all laughing until we cried, about something so random, made me realize that this is what the trip is about.

disney world trip with kidds kids 2015

disney world with kidds kids 2015

charity disney world trip with kidds kids 2015

From then on, Memphis and I were inseparable. Like I said, he has a really wicked sense of humor so I would poke fun at him saying that it was the “Peter Pan” ride we were on not the “Peter no Pants” ride and he would reply with, “Women!” or “I’m just a freaking kid.” To see this little boy who is so vastly different and whose life is probably very hard sometimes have the ability to be so funny and witty with me and poke fun at himself was so intoxicating to me. I can say without a doubt that he is my role model.

The beauty of Kidd’s Kids is that I will have the huge honor and privilege of watching this incredible boy grow up. I literally wake up in the morning and question why God chose me to be the one that watches these amazing journeys. When my dad passed away, I was in NYC auditioning for NBC’s The Voice. My mom couldn’t get me on a plane because I was hysterical for a few days but when she finally got me on one to go home, I remember looking at her and I had the first smile I had in days. She asked me why I was smiling and I said “Kidd’s Kids.” I knew that this would be my opportunity to forever remember my dad by helping the people who needed it most. This foundation is literally the light of my life and I do it for kids like Memphis that show me no matter how hard life can get, laughter is the best medicine. And for that, I am forever thankful.

Cheers,

Caroline Cradick

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