Making dreams come true at IMMS

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Today, one little boy’s dream came true at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies.

Meet Antwone McNeil. He is an eight-year-old boy who loves Nike and aquariums. He also happens to have a seizure disorder and is developmentally delayed. Antwone’s mom Jennifer McNeil said, “Seizures are very serious. This is a very serious disorder because the wrong seizure will end your life.”

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Thanks to Make-A-Wish, Antwone spent the day at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport. Make-A-Wish South Mississippi Coordinator Brittany Day said, “You know all of our Wish kids have been through so much. It is wonderful to see them have fun and have a break from whatever they are doing.”

Antwone had the chance to get up close and personal with the dolphins by petting them and feeding them. “He loves the dolphins and the seals. I thought that was just so, so special and sometimes it’s just the little things that mean so much.”

While Antwone and his family toured IMMS, smiles were worn by all. Animal Care and Training Director Tim Hoffland said, “I love working with the Make-A-Wish kids and the kids who come through here. We have a ton of children who come through our park every year, but those stand out and making their day a little bit special makes our day a little bit special.”