Sunshine Foundation

Laughing Through Life

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Fourteen-year-old Katie’s favourite thing in life is when people around her are happy and laughing. The Kitchener, ON teen especially loves to spend her evenings with friends and family watching episodes of America’s Funniest Home Videos (AFV).  Katie dreamed that she could see the show live and be there in the audience to see the host and join in on the laughter with the studio audience. Earlier this year, Katie’s dream came true. 

Surrounded by her family and friends, Katie was presented with her Sunshine Dream of a trip to Los Angeles to see a live taping of AFV and meet the host.  Like many Sunshine Children who receive a dream, Katie lives with two disabilities: severe hearing impairment and Downs Syndrome. For Katie, it was her severe bilateral hearing loss that qualified her to receive a Sunshine Dream. She was over the moon excited and couldn’t wait to go. Katie’s parents believed that this dream come true would boost her confidence; knowing she can reach her goals.

“Katie is already a very happy, outgoing child but we’re all hoping that seeing AFV and her Sunshine Dream come true will help her continue to pursue her goals.”

The AFV experience was just as Katie imagined. Although she missed seeing her favourite host, Tom Bergeron who had just retired, she was excited that the new host, Alphonso Ribeiro, could make everyone laugh just as hard. Katie’s best moment at AFV was when she won best dressed studio member. The special recognition made her feel very proud of herself.

Katie AFVKatie and her family continued laughing throughout her dream trip. One evening, they went on a walk along the beach and were splashed by sudden waves, completely soaking their clothes.

“We had the best time splashing in the water. We were laughing so hard. When we came back to the hotel we had sand in our pockets.”

During her dream experience in Los Angeles, Katie and her parents also went to Disneyland Park, Knott’s Berry Farm and the Santa Monica Beach. They even went to a fancy Italian restaurant to eat Katie’s favourite food, spaghetti.

Sunshine is happy to have been able to provide this dream come true for Katie and allowed her and her family to create some new memories that they can laugh about for years to come.