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Ky. girl denied dream of climbing to top of Statue of Liberty


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Kentucky girl's dream in life is to climb to the top of the Statue of Liberty. For 14-year-old Morgan Jones, diagnosed with a rare disorder, getting to New York City to see Lady Liberty got her one step closer.

But with the government shut down, Jones is shut out.

"We, this morning, actually did take a tour around the Statue of Liberty," explains Jones' mother April Keelin.

The Kentucky teen has always dreamed of climbing to the crown of the Statue of Liberty.

"She is in ninth grade right now, and she has loved the Statue of Liberty since about third or fourth grade."

Jones has Glutaric Acidemia Type 2, a rare disorder where her body can't break down fats or proteins.

"She is sight impaired. She's had many surgeries with that. She is hearing impaired, and has many other delays," says her mother.

Her struggles caught the attention of the Lexington Dream Factory, and they decided to help make that dream of climbing Lady Liberty a reality. They sent her and her family to New York City this week.

"She was going to get a special tour by the National Park Service up to the crown."

With the federal government shut down, Morgan and her family are shut out. Terry Hagan with the Lexington Dream Factory pulled all strings possible to make the dream happen.

"Had Alison Lundergan Grimes call up to New York to the superintendent of the island, the Statue of Liberty, and talk to him and then I had several email conversations with him," notes Hagan, "it hurts because she didn't get her dream, but we know she's still having a good time."

"We actually broke it to her that the government was shut down, and that not only the Statue of Liberty, but we were telling her some other things that were closed, and telling her people didn't have jobs right now and we're just trying to explain to her that she wasn't the only one," Keelin goes on to say, "when we got up to the Statue, she was excited, but I think there was a little bit of sadness there that we weren't getting off.

The family flies back home to Kentucky Sunday.

The Lexington Dream Factory has granted more than 700 dreams to Kentucky children with critical or chronic illnesses.


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