Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Make a Wish Trip Approved!

Tonight I received a call from our Make a Wish Volunteer and she told me that Dear Son's Wish Trip to Florida had been approved. Thank you for all of your wonderful suggestions. We will be staying at the Give the Kids the World Village and will be going for Dear Son's 18th birthday! Give the Kids the World is a 51 acre resort for children with life threatening illnesses that want to visit Walt Disney World and other central Florida locations. He is going to love this!

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:

  1. Swimming-He loves to lie in a hot tub or a swimming pool.
  2. Country Music-He likes all of it but especially Gretchen Wilson. You can read about that here.
  3. Barney-I thought maybe he'd like to meet him and perhaps even celebrate his birthday there.
  4. Animals-He loves animals and they love him. We thought maybe he'd like the Disney Animal Kingdom Resort or swimming with the dolphins.
  5. Massage for Dear Son. His legs and feet swell a lot and I thought that he might enjoy it.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.


Poppy Q said...

Happy birthday Dream Mom!! What a great present to get, we are sooo pleased for your family and for dear son, that he will have such a special birthday trip.

We are glad the wheels are in motion and you have been granted exactly what you wanted.

Have a lovely birthday, we hope you get some special treats and we wished we lived closer. We would pop around with a bunch of flowers, and offer to do some night jobs for you, so you could get a whole nights sleep.

Can we send you a hug though!!

Julie and Poppy Q

deb said...

What a wonderful birthday present! I am thrilled for all of you.

Happy Birthday, Dream Mom!! I hope you have a great day-July 8th is the best day to have a birthday! (it's my b'day today, too!)


Michelle said...

DM, every villa there has whirlpool tubs right in the room. There are 2 pools also. I can send you more info about the rooms etc if you'de like. There is a huge master bedroom and another smaller room with 2 beds, plus a sleep sofa in the living room. The villas can be opened up to accomadate larger families or staff, so in effect you can have 2 villas if you need the space. There is a train car that accepts wheelchairs in GKTW, and a ferris wheel that does also. There is a magical castle on the premises with tons of fun things to do. every night at GKTW is a different activity, santa comes and so do characters...even barney and friends. The park itself is stunningly beautiful.
When you go to visit barney at Universal, tell Mrs. Peekaboo that Ciarra says hi! Somehow, she remembers us every time we go, and ALWAYS makes a special visit for us, she has never forgotten the kids names...not sure how that could happen with all the kids she has met, but maybe its the magic of the place? :) Outside of Barneys show there is an air conditioned play area, with lots of wheelchair access, DS will love it. Make sure you ask about the stage show just outside Barneys park, Curious George, the folks from scooby doo, etc will sing dance and do autographs. You will not want to miss the show, it is exciting and very fun, and again the characters make a big fuss over the kids.
The ET ride is fun, but can be a bit creepy and scary, so be ready for that if he gets freaked out. It is dark inside the ride. But if he can manage to hang in there, he will love the flying. There is another ride I think at epcot called SOARIN, you simply MUST go on it. It is hands down the most remarkable ride EVER, DS would just absolutely love it, and you will too. Ask at the front desk of GKTW about the free passes to other attractions they have to hand out. One is to a dinner at Medievel times, he would probably love that. There is a walmart within one mile of GKTW, if you need anything. You can ride the trolley all over GKTW, to dinner etc. By the way, the meals there are just..incredible. Prepare to be spoiled rotten. Those folks go SO far out of their way to wait on you...YOU...and is the most incredible experience. And make sure to enjpy the ice cream palace, it is so fun. He can drive his wheelchair right into a huge ice cream bowl to eat! So many things Ide love to tell you about, but I want you to enjoy discovering the magic yourself. Just dont worry about ANYTHING. Oh...they even cover late night meals, if you stay late at the parks. Just dial the kitchen phone and request a pizza will show up on a little cart...with sodas to boot...FREE! The place is a living breathing miracle of human kindness. I cant wait to hear how awesome it is for him, and for you. YAY!!!

Michelle said...

oops...not ferris wheel, merry go round. sorry. :)

Daisy said...

Happy Birthday! And what a wonderful birthday present, indeed. It sounds like dear son is going to have a fabulous trip.

Ashley's Mom said...

My family's most favorite thing about GKTW was that the ice cream parlor was open 24 hours a day! I lost count of how many banana splits we all consumed!

I'm so happy this is working out, and Happy Birthday to you to!

canucker said...

Dream Mom, I am so happy and excited for DS! And what a beautiful present, to get the news on your birthday! DS deserves this trip and the happy times you are going to have. The Wish granting folks couldn't be nicer and go that extra mile for families.

I'm reading how they have free ice cream at GKTW but you have got to stop at Aloha Isles in the Magic Kingdom (located near the Enchanted Tiki Room) for a Dole Pineapple Whip. I'm sure DS will enjoy a lick or two of it too! :-)

Rambling Round said...

What a wonderful birthday present for you and for your son! I am so happy everything is working out. Can't wait to see the pictures when you return. Hope you get to go in October. That's when we went with my other sons, and the weather was cool in the mornings and in the 80s by afternoon. Perfect for swimming and everything else.

ANewKindOfPerfect said...

How exciting that his Wish is being granted! I can only imagine how much fun he (and you and Dad of course!) will have. :)

Dream Mom said...

Thanks, everyone!

Kathryn said...

Happy Belated Birthday!!! That is so incredibly great about the Make A Wish trip!!! Wonderful.

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