Jessica’s dream of meeting Luke Kuechly and giving him one of her famous hugs just came true!
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What Carolina girl doesn’t dream of Luke Kuechly arriving at her door with flowers? That very dream just came true for Jessica Hayes, and much, much more!
Jessica is a 21-year-old living in Newton, NC. Referred to Dream On 3 by DDR, Inc., Jessica was born with hydrocephalus, resulting in cortical blindness, autism, and cerebral palsy. Hydrocephalus is a condition that occurs when fluids build up in the skull, causing the brain to swell. Jessica’s conditions affect her quality of life in various ways. One of her biggest obstacles is not being able to access the places she enjoys as they are not often accessible by wheelchair.
Dream Kid Jessica says she wants to be “just like her mommy” when she grows up because she teaches her lots of things. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys playing with her siblings, coloring, and doing puzzles. She also enjoys going different places, listening to Miranda Lambert, and of course, watching football. Jessica spends her Sunday afternoons cheering for Linebacker Luke Kuechly and the Carolina Panthers! Jessica says she loves #59 because he is friendly and kind. Whenever Luke is on the field, you better believe Jessica is cheering. Her dream was to meet Kuechly and give him one of her famous hugs!
Jessica’s Dream: On Friday, December 4th, Dream Kid Jessica’s dream came true. Meeting Luke Kuechly may have been the highlight of her day but the celebration began much earlier. Jessica knew that Dream On 3 had planned a 21st birthday celebration for her so, without reveling any surprises too early, we spent a little time giving her some pampering before her big party! Jessica’s day started in a beautiful penthouse suite at the Ballantyne Hotel, Charlotte. After settling in to the luxury accommodations it was time to shop! Our friends at Sloan Boutique in SouthPark treated Jessica like royalty and with the help of personal shopper, Kristin Heinrich, she found the perfect party outfit! Lynn Kreiling, a friend to Dream On 3, added the finishing touches on Jessica’s hair and nails (of course done in Panthers blue!). Dressed and looking beautiful for her 21st birthday, Jessica thought she was waiting for her limo ride to arrive. What she didn’t know was a very special guest would be picking her up….
There was a knock on the door, and none other than Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers Linebacker, stood on the other side with a bouquet of flowers! Kuechly introduced himself and Jessica gave him what she had been waiting for, one of her famous hugs! Kuechly then rode in the limousine with Jessica, her family, and WBTV’s Molly Grantham, to her party at Wheelhouse Media in uptown. Kuechly was a total class act, wheeling Jessica in to her party himself. He even led her friends and family in singing her “Happy Birthday,” helped fix her plate, and joined her in the “Whip and Nae Nae.”
View the entire album from Jessica’s special day,
courtesy of Emby Taylor Photography
Every Dollar Makes A Difference!
Dreams like Jessica’s are made possible by individual and corporate donations. Dream on 3 makes sports dreams come true for children with chronic illnesses, developmental disabilities and life-altering conditions. Whether its $10, $50, 0r more – every little bit counts! Each Dream Experience is uniquely created with the individual child in mind. Your donations not only make those dreams come true, they help us add the extra magic that goes into making them a truly unforgettable experience!