August 6, 2010

Kids Wish Network takes Racine girl to visit hit TV show

Carly Renguette, 15, with NCIS actors Mark Harmon and Pauly Perrette

A young Racine girl with a life-threatening spinal disorder enjoyed the wish of her life last week by visiting the set of the hit TV series NCIS through the generosity of national children’s charity Kids Wish Network.

When she was 11, Carly Renguette woke up one day with a neck ache and within an hour she was being life-flighted to the hospital after she stopped breathing. When she awoke, Carly couldn't walk, could barely talk and could not move her arms and legs. Doctors determined that she had suffered a blood clot in her spine that caused a severe spinal stroke, leaving her a quadriplegic.

In the four years since her initial hospitalization, Carly has worked hard at various therapies and rehabilitation clinics to regain her abilities to talk, move her body and even walk with the assistance of a platform walker; Carly has come a tremendously long way.

It was a family friend familiar with Carly’s struggle who first put Carly’s mother, Sheri, in contact with Kids Wish Network. Carly asked to visit the set of NCIS.

With the help of sponsors here and in Hollywood, Carly’s wish coordinator arranged for Carly, her older sister, Sarah, and her mother to enjoy Carly’s wish trip including tickets to Universal Studios and the visit to the set of NCIS.

“It was amazing,” said Sheri of her daughter’s wish trip. “The whole thing was amazing. We got the royal treatment everywhere.”  Though she enjoyed everything, the visit to the set of her favorite show was definitely the highlight of Carly’s trip.

While on the NCIS set, Carly meet actor Mark Harmon and actress Pauley Perrette (who play Carly’s two favorite characters), eat lunch on set and watch the taping of an episode.

“Mark Harmon was wonderful,” said Sheri. “He was so nice.” During the tour, Mark took Carly to the “interrogation room” set of NCIS and made her part of a special interrogation.

As for Pauley Perrette, according to Sheri, “she was just amazing. "Abby" is Carly’s favorite character and it was just amazing for her... the girls made a scrapbook [showing Carly’s story] and Pauley was  interested in it all. She was so sweet.” Pauley also said that the scrapbook would make an appearance on the "Abby's" desk during a show.

Carly was given an NCIS hat and a shirt from Pauley Perrette’s “Abby” wardrobe.

“It was a wish granted and then some,” said Sheri. “It was really like a couple of wishes.”

Kids Wish Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children in crisis. It provides some 1,250 wishes for children each year. For more information on Kids Wish Network, visit their website.

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