“All the information out there says he’s never going to walk, never going to crawl, never going to talk. That’s enough to drive any parent insane,” says Joseph, whose son Levon was born with a rare genetic disorder that his twin brother Maceo doesn’t share.
The disorder is typically diagnosed around six months of age, and affects boys almost exclusively. “His challenges are so intense and his perseverance is so amazing and it inspires us.” In spite of his challenges, “Just thinking about Levon brings me joy,” says his mom, Dyna.
And Levon has battled his condition bravely and with joy, learning to walk and even dance. In fact, dancing was what helped inspire his wish. One day, Levon picked up Joseph’s phone and found a song by Adele on it. “He put down the phone, walked right up to the TV [where he had made the song continue playing via Apple TV], and started dancing, and was so happy. In that moment I knew that was it, I had to apply for a wish trip for him,” says Dyna. Little did they know then that his wish would take the whole family halfway around the world to Australia, where Adele was in concert.
Says Dyna, “The joy on our son’s face throughout our wonderful trip was priceless. Levon was all smiles the whole time and just loved every minute of the trip!” As parents of a child with special needs, she and Joseph are used to planning everything themselves when travelling, but had never left the country because of that.
Dyna adds “[The wish trip] impacted our family in a really positive way because travelling outside the country was really outside our comfort zone. But we did it and it taught us that we shouldn’t limit ourselves because it might be hard on Levon. That we can do a lot more than we sometimes think and honestly he does so much more on a daily basis than we do. Just to get through his day! It really was a pivotal moment for us to realize what we can do as a family!”
After returning from their trip, Dyna and Joseph created a video about their wish trip. As Adele sings Hello while the crowd of 90,000 cheers, one seven-year-old fan is bouncing and smiling along with the music. To get there, he had to make a physical journey few could imagine. Take a look. See firsthand the power of pure joy when you grant a wish for a child with a critical illness.