LEXINGTON, Ky. — Garret DiMaggio, a 9-year-old boy suffering from Doose Syndrome, was recently granted his wish through the Make-A-Wish program. Garrett and his family were surprised with a brand new camper to travel in during the summer months. 

What You Need To Know

  • Garrett DiMaggio is nine years old and has been diagnosed with Doose Syndrome 

  • Garrett’s original wish was to go to Disney but due to the pandemic, he switched his wish to a camper

  • Garrett looks forward to camping with his family this summer, making friends, s’mores and collecting rocks

  • Doose Syndrome causes children to abruptly lose muscle control and fall over

A week after Garrett's fourth birthday, he was diagnosed with Doose syndrome, an illness that causes children to abruptly lose muscle control and fall over. After brain surgery and regular treatment, he is working his way towards recovery. 

Originally, Garrett wished to go to Disney World, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, he decided a camper would be better. 

“If he can be outside every day, all day he would. So when we decided not to go to Disney world he said can we get a camper so we can go camping in the snow. So it's super exciting,” said Tiffany Owen, Garrett’s mom.

Garrett and his family drove from Evansville, Indiana to receive their brand new camper in Lexington. 

“We're excited they’re all squeezed in the car for the past three hours so I'm sure they're going to just come out of there like a barrel of laughs," said Matt Owen, Garrett’s dad.

Faith Hacker with Make-A-Wish said a camper has been popular this past year with travel restrictions in place, and with supply and demand, they've been difficult to track down.

“We have had an increase in camper wishes, because of COVID-19. Travel is such that campers allow these kids to still make memories and go do things,” Hacker said.

Hacker said there are over 400 kids in Kentucky right now that are waiting for a wish, and being able to give Garrett and his family their camper was something special.

“The smile on the kid’s faces is worth all the work that goes into it, and all of the money that is spent, the time and the hours that RV retailers and Northside RV have done for us. It's worth every penny,” Hacker said.

Garrett looks forward to camping and making friends, eating s'mores with white chocolate, and collecting rocks to add to his collection.

“I make my s’mores gold and crispy, sometimes crispy and sometimes brown. The brown ones I like, and the crispy ones,” Garrett said.