"Our family wants to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing wish trip to Disney World you granted our son, Joseph. For months leading up to his trip, Joseph beamed about his wish to every relative, friend, teacher and stranger who would listen.
When the time came for this departure the day after Halloween, his excitement – and that of his four sisters – could not be contained! Our travel to and from Florida was seamless, from our airport transportation to our VIP airline accommodations; the arrangements made by Make-A-Wish completely removed the worries of traveling with five children 9 and under!
Joe was thrilled to do two specific things at Disney World; to ride the Monorail and to meet Mickey. He only needed to wheel himself out his hotel room and through the lobby to propel right into the Monorail to Magic Kingdom or on the bus to Hollywood Studios or elsewhere. The Grand Floridian resort and every last amusement we encountered were completely accessible to him, as easily as they were to his sisters. As his parents, it brought tears to our eyes to watch our Joseph, a full-time wheelchair user and energetic little kid, have access to virtually EVERYTHING in his sights. The self-sufficiency this trip offered Joe was a gift that will not soon be forgotten or replicated.
When the time came to meet Mickey, Joey was thrilled as he and the girls were whisked past the winding line of fans into a separate VIP area. Our girls were giddy, but we quickly learned Joe’s appreciation for Mickey would be healthiest “from a distance” as he promptly decided he only liked meeting characters “with faces” (Gaston, Tinkerbelle, Mary Poppins, and the line). While we couldn’t get him to actually pose with Mickey that day, he was beside himself with glee everywhere else, finding Mickey’s visage on buses and benches and bracelets and beverages. When Mickey “snuck” into our hotel room and left beautiful gifts for each child, Joseph was ecstatic and carried his new Pirate Mickey doll everywhere and slept with him every night. (Upon our return to California, he insisted on taking the autographed picture Mickey left in our hotel room to each medical appointment and showed every last caregiver.)
In truth, Joey and his sisters loved EVERY part of the trip. The awesome pools at the hotel (waterslide! DJ! Pool games!), the parades, the scary roller coaster at Hollywood Studios, the family rides at Magic Kingdom – It’s a Small World and the Teacups were tops – the train ride and Ice Cream Palace at Give Kids the World Village, breakfast with Mary Poppins, dancing with the Main Street Band, movie night and roasting marshmallows on the hotel beach, the Soarin’ ride and our “international tour” at Epcot. It was all truly…MAGICAL.
Through our journey to and from Disney World, we encountered many strangers (unaffiliated with Joseph’s wish) who have been involved with Make-A-Wish or Give Kids the World Village in Florida You made an indelible difference in Joey’s life and our daughters’ hearts and for this we are forever grateful. May God bless you and the work you are doing. Thank you for EVERYTHING."