Disneyworld, April, 1998
Shelly's Life and Family
Everybody heard about Make-a-Wish Foundation. This is the umbrella organization for a number of state Make-a-Wish foundations that provide wishes for seriously ill children. One of the most popular wishes, a trip to Disneyworld, is actually a joint effort of two organizations: Make-A-Wish, which takes care of the airfare and ground transportation, and Give Kids The World - which provides the accommodations, meals and tickets to the parks in Florida.
Our trip to Disney was wonderful. Not only for Shelly, but for our entire family. Make-a-Wish Foundation of Michigan expedited our request, and we were able to go right after Shelly completed the radiation treatments, and before she started chemotherapy. During this time she was healthy, and able to do all the activities like a normal child. For Maia, who was 4 when Shelly died, the memories from Disneyworld are her most vivid memories of her sister, and these are fun memories, of Shelly enjoying herself, smiling, laughing. These are memories of our family as a complete unit. .
We are thankful to Make-a-Wish Foundation of Michigan, and Give Kids the World,for giving Shelly and our family the great vacation and treasured memories. What makes the trip so unique is the wonderful hospitality at the kids village, which is owned by Give Kids the World, and the wonderful treatment we received, not only at the village, but also in the parks and restaurants we visited.
At the kids village families stay at spacious villas where the kids get the bigger bedroom and bathroom. Although each unit has a large kitchen, meals are provided at the Gingerbread House Restaurant. This is the cutest restaurant with child-sized tables decorated with real peppermint candies, and dolls from around the world. Every morning the kids can ride the Merry-Go-Around and every evening they can play in the Castle of Miracles, which has a huge collection of toys and a video arcade, or swim at the pool where the ice-cream and concessions are free.
Shelly said that she liked the Merry-Go-Around at the village more than the one at the Magic Kingdom, because "kids with wheelchairs can ride it too". One of the nicest things about this trip is that everyone, regardless of their physical limitations, can enjoy this experience to the fullest. Everyone feels welcome, special, a VIP.
created by Ruti Volk