Gabriel’s Wish by Guest Blogger Denise Hodgson
Everyone loves Disney. No matter what our age is we never outgrow the magic of Disney. Whether it’s seeing Winnie the Pooh for the first time as a child or watching Hayley Mills as twins Sharon and Susan in the 1961 version of The Parent Trap. To me however, it is to see a child’s face light up when they hear or see Anything Disney related. That is when you know you have a true Mouseketeer on your hands.
Our children all enjoy Disney but our youngest son Gabriel, is our little Disney fanatic. He eats, breathes and sleep Disney. When we go to Costco the first thing he goes to is the jumbo sized banner for their travel club that shows Pluto with a little boy on the beach. Gabriel goes rolling himself as fast as his little arms will let him yelling “Disney! Disney! “ the whole way there. If we go to the mall he rolls hisself straight to the Disney store – he doesn’t stop, pass “Go” nor does he collect $200. Nope he goes straight to the Disney store. When it’s time for him to wind down for the day he does so by watching Disney Junior episodes thanks to the Watch Disney Junior app on my tablet. (The app is free in the Itunes and Google Playstores). All this while holding tightly to his bestest friend in the whole world, his Mickey Mouse. Even when he is sound asleep Mickey is with him helping to fend off the villains and bad dreams And now, now he gets to go to the happiest place on Earth – Walt Disney World!!!
I bet by now you’re probably wondering why is he rolling himself and not walking? Well Gabriel has a rare genetic neuromuscular disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy or SMA. SMA in a nutshell is a motor neuron disease. A what? A motor neuron controls voluntary muscle functions like walking, crawling, neck control swallowing and breathing. Gabriel has Type 2 SMA and sadly one day it will take all this away. He is in a wheelchair and also uses a feeding tube twenty-two hours a day. But… This doesn’t stop him for living life to the fullest and enjoying all that it has to offer him, that is so log as it’s Disney
A few months ago we received in the mail information from the Make-A-Wish foundation asking us what Gabriel’s one wish would be. We got hundreds of pictures of different things like New York City, the beach, trains and so on, all the things little boys should love. He kept pulling the Disney pictures out no matter where in the stack we put them. After filling the paperwork out and meeting with our wish people, Scott and Dawn, we received a call in August telling us that his wish had been granted! He was going to Walt Disney World! We decided against telling him until it started getting closer to the time to go but he knew,not sure how but he can sense Disney. We would talk to friends about his upcoming trip and if he heard the magic word he would get all excited. I have never seen a little one get so excited about something before like he does about Disney.
Now he knows he is going to Walt Disney World. We told him and his siblings on Sunday night that Monday we would be starting the sixty day countdown our special trip. Each day we show him the widget that is counting down the days to Disney. He has his bestest friend in the whole wide world Mickey Mouse to help him count the days until he can meet him in person. I wonder if he’ll be like the little girl in the commercial who tells Mickey “I’ve waited my whole life to meet you”. No matter what his reaction is I know it will be a truly magical moment not only for him but for us also.
Denise Hodgson is a blogger and free lance writer. She has written for Parade, US Family Guide, She Speaks, Mom It Forward as well as several ezine articles on various topics. When she isn’t writing she is a busy wife and mom to five great children. She enjoys collecting antique books, crossword puzzles, traveling and a good cup of coffee.
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