Photos and Videos
Amanda Guerra, NBC 5 News
Thursday was the big send off for Kidd's Kids. Chronically and terminally ill children and their families left on an all-expenses paid trip o Disney World and for the first time, they departed Love Field without Kidd Kraddick.
For the first time in two decades, the Kidd’s Kids charity prepares for its annual trip without its founder. There is no doubt that Kidd Kraddick will be missed on this year's trip following his sudden death last July.
Kraddick's daughter, Caroline, is now hosting the once-in-a-lifetime trip and continuing her dad’s legacy.
Kidd's Kids have been counting down to the 22nd annual trip which will begin Thursday. 54 terminally ill children and their families will spend five days at Walt Disney World in Florida, all expenses paid.
Elijah Anderson, 8, who suffers from cerebral palsy, said he's excited to be making the trip.
“This is just been something that keeps us going and to look forward to. We're just so appreciative to all the people who have donated and have given to make this possible, because it's not something we would be able to do otherwise. We're just excited to make the memories and it's something we'll cherish forever,” said Elijah’s mother, Emily Bradford.
In October, supporters raised $468,000 to help fund the trip.
The send-off begins at 10 a.m. Thursday. The kids will board the Southwest Airlines charter plane through the “Line of Honor” around 11:15 a.m. They’ll be cheered onto the charter flight by the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, volunteers, medical staff, and the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning show crew. They'll depart a private hanger for Florida just after noon.
Once in Florida, there will be a memorial dinner in Kraddick’s honor.
“We’ll get all the sad parts out of the way, so we can just move on and have so much fun. And I got my nails pained with “KK” on it, so he will be with us the whole time," said Kraddick's daughter, Caroline Cradick, who said there’s no greater joy than to continue her dad’s mission.
“My dad laid the ground work for us. It’s kind of a well-oiled machine at this point. We just have to keep going. Our mission is to make it bigger every year,” Cradick said during the fundraising drive.
There will be another "Kidd Kraddick in the Morning" team member who isn’t making the trip, “Psycho” Shanon is recovering from brain surgery.
“I kind of empathize with these kids a lot more this year than I ever have before, obviously. Sucks, that I don’t get to go on the trip, but, you know, these kids are about to go on a trip of a lifetime,” said Murphy.