Menu

Get the Tissues Ready: Give Kids the World Ambassador Kellen Jackley is a World Changer

We love sharing awareness about an incredible organization in the central Florida area called Give Kids the WorldThey give critically ill children and their families a completely free vacation including to Walt Disney World. It gives them a chance to forget about any sickness and get away from doctors and hospitals even if it’s just for a little while.

Credit: Click Orlando

We want to share the story about an 11 year old who’s in fifth grade named Kellen Jackley. He made his first visit on a Make-a-Wish trip in 2014 since he was born with half a heart.

 

“I was actually born with half a heart and I had five open-heart surgeries. From going to surgery and yucky medicine to just running around in a water park and having ice cream for breakfast, it was amazing and so magical,” Jackley said.

Credit: PaulaK

Related: Give Kids the World

 

This vacation was so life changing for the entire family that they decided to move to Central Florida to be closer to the Give Kids the World Village.

 

“We were like, why don’t we just move to Florida? So we moved to Florida and closer to Give Kids,” he said.

 

He is now a child ambassador and speaks all over at events sharing his experience. He was awarded 2021 Be Great! Humanitarian Award at Walt Disney World for his efforts.

 

He is also a talented artist and had a painting that was auctioned off. They received more than $8,000, donated to Give Kids the World. He says this painting was from Darkness to Light and explains how he felt walking into the village the first time.

 

“So all of the darkness represents when I was in the hospital with yucky medicine and surgery, and all this light represents when I walked into GKTW village and all that darkness is just fading away.”

 

He has a YouTube channel that will bring a smile to your face, and you can see that here.

 

He has interviewed stars of shows like Big Brother, Amazing Race, and Survivor. His favorite was an interview with Mark Long from The Challenge.

Credit: PaulaK

“I was obviously starstruck, but like being next to a very famous person and asking them a few questions is awesome and I loved it so much. It’s like the best thing I’ve ever done. It was just really a fun interview and I love that interview so much,” he said.

 

Although he was born with half a heart, he has the biggest heart of all. He is doing well now and is an inspiration to so many people.

 

Thanks to ClickOrlando.com for this interview with Kellen Jackley.

Related: Disney Veterans Enjoy Night of a Million Lights Holiday Event at Give Kids The World Village

Keep up with all the latest Disney information on Disney Tips and like our Facebook Page.

About Tricia Kennedy

Tricia lives in Orlando and loves having Walt Disney World pretty much in her backyard. She can be found at Disney several times a week. She will often stop by a park for an hour or two, but she also enjoys spending a whole day there with her friends. A lifelong Star Wars fan, Tricia especially enjoys Star Tours and has ridden over 200 times. If Tricia is not at the parks she's out playing drums or with her dog Yoda.