Ganz Makes a Wish Come True - Every Webkinz Ever Made!
Mason Girl escapes to Webkinz Wonderland
OKEMOS - Small, furry stuffed frogs, dogs, sheep, koalas and a zoo full of other animals overflowed from the benches and window sills at an Okemos restaurant Tuesday afternoon - all for one 11-year-old Mason girl.
Summer Szymanski, who has mitochondrial disease, a condition that affects the way the body fuels itself, was granted her wish of having all the "ultimate" Webkinz collection.
That means Summer had 222 new friends to add to her collection of 75.
Summer plans to register the toys online and can then virtually house, feed and play with her Webkinz. That will keep the 11-year-old busy for a while, said her mother, Michelle Szymanski.
"It's her passion," she said. "It's just what she loves to do."
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan contacted Ganz, the company that owns Webkinz. Ganz scrounged up each Webkinz available, even those that have been discontinued, for Summer's wish, said Meghan Mair, communications relations manager for Make-A-Wish.
Summer and her brother Blaze, 13, both have mitochondrial disease.
Summer was diagnosed six years ago and the condition has been worse this year, Michelle Szymanski said.
"She's still struggling right now," she said. "Webkinz is kind of her escape from dealing with the constant pain."
Mair said Summer's Webkinz request was definitely unique.
As part of the wish, Summer and her family were taken from their home in Mason to the Okemos Applebee's in a limousine, and were expected to top the day off with Summer's favorite food - ice cream - at Coldstone Creamery in East Lansing.