Orlando nonprofit creates memories for families whose children are battling illnesses

Majic Messengers creates pictures, videos for families with the help of Give Kids the World

ORLANDO, Fla. – Majic Messengers is a non-profit that’s helping create memories for families whose child is battling a critical disease or may be terminally ill.

The organization paired up with Give Kids the World Village in Orlando to help families, like that of Katie Jackson whose 5-year-old daughter, Olivia McCleary, was born prematurely.

“She was born at 23 weeks. She was a little over a pound when she was born. They tell you the worst-case scenario,” Jackson said about the struggles and uphill battles her little girl has had to endure since birth. “When she was two she was diagnosed with a condition called LGS Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and what that really means is she has epilepsy that can’t be controlled. Every day she has seizures.”

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Those daily seizures have taken a toll on her organs causing other health issues, according to Jackson. Earlier this year, the girl was diagnosed with a genetic rare syndrome.

“[It’s] called Pilarowski-Bjornsson Syndrome. PBS for short, and there are only 10 people in the world that have had it. It’s a mutation of the CHD1 and SEN9A genes and there’s just — you can’t change genes,” she said.

Doctors said the 5-year-old has 6 to 9 months left, a time the family wants to spend giving their little girl the best life possible.

“You try to fit everything into 6 to 9 months, hoping that you’re going to have longer,” Jackson said. “The way that we have always said is that she writes her own story — she makes her own path.”

It’s a path that brought the family to spend a week at Give Kids the World Village where the founder of Majic Messengers, Michael Stratton, met them and offered to tell their story on the organization’s digital platform.

“From the moment you lay eyes on that beautiful little girl she just captured your heart with her fun-loving spirit and her big bright smile,” Stratton said.

Stratton and photographer, Chris Glenn transformed the girl into her favorite Disney princess and captured a brave and resilient little girl who all she wants to be when she grows up is Elsa, from the animated movie Frozen.

“Chris and Michael giving us something that we’ll never be able — I will never be able to repay them and Give Kids the World,” Jackson said.

Majic Messengers was founded in honor of Stratton’s late mother, Jan, who was involved with Give Kids the World Village. They tell stories of children battling health issues through pictures and videos and create happy memories for families.

“We really wanted to pull back the curtain behind childhood illness and kind of expose the inspiration and positivity that comes out of that as well,” Stratton said. “We want the world to know that their story mattered. We just want to make sure that they’re never forgotten because they deserve that and the parents deserve that.”

To learn more about Majic Messengers, click here.


About the Author:

Carolina Cardona highlights all Central Florida has to offer in her stories on News 6 at Nine. She joined News 6 in June 2018 from the Telemundo station in Philadelphia.