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Huntley boy with chronic illness gets dream electronics shopping spree

Zachary Simons, 18, of Huntley shops for electronics at Walmart in Crystal Lake Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Simons received a $1,000 gift card to the store sponsored by Kids Wish Network. He was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and myelomeningocele, a form of spinal bifida, and has already had 11 separate surgeries.
Zachary Simons, 18, of Huntley shops for electronics at Walmart in Crystal Lake Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Simons received a $1,000 gift card to the store sponsored by Kids Wish Network. He was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and myelomeningocele, a form of spinal bifida, and has already had 11 separate surgeries.

HUNTLEY – Zachary Simons had his ultimate wish fulfilled Wednesday when he got to hit the store for all the latest technology gadgets.

Zachary, 18 – accompanied by his parents, Cindy and Steve Simons, and his brother, Nicholas Simons, – had the shopping spree at the Crystal Lake Walmart on Route 31. The trip was sponsored by the Kids Wish Network, a national nonprofit that grants the wishes of chronic and fatally ill children.

Zachary has a serious form of spinal bifida called myelomeningocele. Spina bifida is a condition where the backbone and spinal canal don’t close before birth. Doctors diagnosed Zachary with the disease, along with another disease called hydrocephalus, which causes a buildup of fluid in the brain and affects how a fetus develops.

Zachary had his first surgery immediately after birth to close the hole in his lower back, and a week later went in again to drain the fluid in his brain. As of today, he has undergone 11 surgeries total. He also suffers from mobility problems.

The foundation works with local companies to grant wishes. Walmart store manager Will Collatz organized Zachary’s event Wednesday at the store, where he received a $1,000 gift card. Zachary also had a chance to go to Abt Electronics, where he was given a tour of the facilities and presented with a new MacBook Pro.

“It’s been wonderful, awesome,” Zachary said.

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