We will be staying there for seven days. They have arranged for a "Meet and Greet with Barney" which was one of my requests. Dear Son has adored Barney for many years and although he doesn't play with him as much now, he still was Dear Son's favorite toy. You may recall a story I wrote about him here. Basically, once we give the o.k. on the dates (Dad needs to get vacation approval at work), they'll begin the planning.
When the Make a Wish volunteers were here, I gave them several ideas based on your suggestions. I also talked about the things Dear Son loves, namely:
- Swimming-He loves to lie in a hot tub or a swimming pool.
- Country Music-He likes all of it but especially Gretchen Wilson. You can read about that here.
- Barney-I thought maybe he'd like to meet him and perhaps even celebrate his birthday there.
- Animals-He loves animals and they love him. We thought maybe he'd like the Disney Animal Kingdom Resort or swimming with the dolphins.
- Massage for Dear Son. His legs and feet swell a lot and I thought that he might enjoy it.
- ET ride at Universal Studios. One woman sent me an e-mail and said her son was granted a wish. She said the favorite moment of her trip was when he did the ET ride. Part of the ride is where they have you fly in the air on bicycles like in the movie ET. They had special spots to tie down a wheelchair and she said she can still picture his expression when his wheelchair took off into the air flying! He has since passed away but she still remembers this ride as the highlight of her son's trip. Dear Son has always wanted to run like the other boys and I bet he would really like the feeling of freedom that this ride would provide.
- Polynesian Luau-I thought he might like the hula and fire dancers.
We won't know the actual itinerary until a few weeks before our trip. The Make a Wish Foundation has already set up a few things we'll need, such as a hoyer lift and a wheelchair van so we can get around with Dear Son. We also expressed concern of having a place to change him and they have already worked that out. (He wears diapers.) What is surprising is that they think of everything. They have arranged for diapers and formula for Dear Son as well. I would not have imagined that they would supply those nor did we ask.
One other thing that has been especially nice is our Make a Wish volunteers. One of them invited me on facebook and I've had the pleasure of getting to know her a little better and meeting her family. It's really made the whole wish experience a little nicer.
And the best part about the trip being granted, is that it is just in time for my birthday which is today. I can't think of a better birthday wish than to have the trip of a lifetime granted for my darling son. To see him smile will be the best part of the trip.
Note: Dear Son suffers from a progressive neurological disease and intractable seizures as a result of a random mutation of the ARX gene. This mutation causes infantile spasms, dystonia and severe mental retardation.