Gavin’s family received his diagnosis of Duchenne muscular dystrophy a little over a year ago. His condition means that he will progressively lose the ability to walk and use his muscles, so his family was eager for him to experience a wish while he still has those abilities.
Thanks to Make-A-Wish donors and volunteers like you, granting Gavin's wish quickly was possible: soon he and his parents were heading to the Disney Aulani resort on Oahu. Preparing for the wish gave Gavin and his family something to look forward to as they coped with difficult times, says his mom, Courtney. When they arrived, she says, “Everything was so amazing. From the itinerary, to the transportation, to the hotel accommodations, to the scenic and beautiful setting, and finally to the personal touches that we felt constantly."
"At Aulani, Gavin’s favorite activity (by far) was the Lazy River," Courtney continues. "It is about a 15 minute journey that has lots of sights and magical things around every turn. Because the water flows and pushes you around automatically, Gavin was able to do so many things in the water that would have been difficult for him otherwise due to the muscle loss. It was as if for those 15 minutes, he had abilities that he never had before, and the confidence and happiness that came with that too. I think he probably spent half of each day on that river because of it. And we couldn’t have been happier to witness that. And the beach and the snorkeling and the pools… Just so magical for all of us."
Gavin's diagnosis was the start of an extremely challenging and emotional journey, but his mom credits the wish with bringing their family closer together. "Our doctors told us that typically in our situation, the mothers and fathers have an unbelievably high divorce rate (90%)," she says. "That scared us, but I can see how that is possible after going through everything we have. But this trip made us see that even through the difficult journey, now and in the future, we are a solid family unit and will continue to be, despite what happens."