This blog was authored by Nicole Brandon, Southwest Flight Attendant.
This year, my daughter Khloe, my husband Paul, and I joined a new family—the Kidd’s Kids family—when we were selected to go on the annual Kidd’s Kids trip to the Walt Disney World® in Orlando. If you aren’t familiar with this organization, Kidd’s Kids, founded by the late radio personality Kidd Kraddick, strives to make a difference in the lives of children and their families and sends them on the trip of a lifetime to the Happiest Place on Earth.
How did we become a member of the Kidd’s Kids family? This past summer, representatives from the Kidd’s Kids organization surprised us after I finished a trip with the news that we had been selected as a family to go on the Kidd’s Kids trip. This was amazing, especially following our daughter Khloe’s leukemia diagnosis in December 2018.
Since finding out that we were going to go on the Kidd’s Kids trip, we counted down the days until departure. We were so excited to have something to look forward to! The Kidd’s Kids trip was a welcome distraction from the doctor visits and medical treatments that have now become a part of our life. We also received such an outpouring of love from fellow co-Hearts and even strangers on social media when our story was posted to Southwest social channels.
The Kidd’s Kids send-off day finally arrived and it was the best celebration! The hangar at Burbank Partners near Love Field was filled with Southwest and Kidd’s Kids volunteers, the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show cast members, and other families who were going on the Kidd’s Kids trip. In total, there were 39 families with 40 Kidd’s Kids who were headed to Orlando on the chartered flight. It was the best send-off, and Khloe, Paul, and I felt celebrated and loved. The Morning Show cast called Khloe’s name and we were cheered down a red carpet as we boarded the flight. We took our seats toward the back of the aircraft and we were on our way!
This trip was one of the most memorable experiences we’ve ever had. While we have been to Disney before, it was especially meaningful to go this year. Without this trip, we would probably not have taken a family vacation due to medical costs and treatments, but thanks to the donations of Kidd Kraddick Morning Show listeners and Southwest Employees, we were able to leave our worries behind and take a trip together as a family. It was the best experience and we are so grateful.
We’ve been a part of the Southwest Family for more than 20 years since I’m a Dallas-based Flight Attendant. I’ve felt the love and support from my Cohearts as we’ve gone through one of the toughest times we’ve had to face as a family. Now, we have the support of the Kidd’s Kids family and we can’t thank Southwest enough for this connection. Before this trip, I had always wanted to volunteer to be on the Crew for the Kidd’s Kids trip. Now that we’ve had this experience, we’ll be paying it forward and helping send another group of families on this once-in-a-lifetime Kidd’s Kids trip.