(WXYZ) — A special event is returning to the Detroit Zoo after going virtual for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It's the 24th annual Walk for Wishes, and I'm honored to be emceeing the event again, which helps raise money to grant wishes to kids facing life-threatening illnesses. The best part? Meeting the amazing wish kids and their families.
On Dec. 9, 6-year-old King received a castle fit for a king. Make-A-Wish Michigan surprised him with his wish, a castle playset that he and his siblings could enjoy at his grandparents' house in Detroit.
"He loves to swing. He just don't want to leave the swings, so," Sherese Jordan said.
Sherese and Joel Jordan have helped care for King since he was diagnosed with gastrointestinal disorder shortly after birth.
"It’s been a tough journey. He was in INCU for seven months and was hospitalized for seven months at birth because he was born at 28 weeks," Sherese said.
The Jordans say he's undergone countless surgeries and therapy sessions, and requires around-the-clock monitoring.
"What's it like seeing him when his spirit is lifted, when he's on the playset?" I asked.
"It's awesome, because to see anyone, you love that's in a position where they're down, they're not at, you know, 100 percent. I think it takes a toll on them as well as it does on you. So to see him smiling and happy and energetic and exercising and kind of making up for some last time, I think is great," she said.
I got a tour of King's castle from the king himself. You can't miss the smile in his eyes as he climbs the interior ladder up to the ramparts, peering out over the turret into the yard.
King and his family will be honored at this year's Walk for Wishes at the Detroit Zoo.
Money raised will help make wishes come true for the more than 800 Michigan children who are currently waiting for their wishes.
The 24th annual Walk For Wishes is Saturday, May 7 at the Detroit Zoo. Registration starts at 7:15 a.m. and the walk starts around 8:45 a.m. You can sign up or make a donation here.