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Trip Report Wishes Do Come True

Matt

Logan and Olivia's dad
Premium Member
Original Poster
Hi everyone! Long time lurker, sometime poster. Decided to do a TR partly for everyone but mostly for my own memory.

Quick(ish) backstory - Our 3yo son was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in May 2018. He was hospitalized in the children's hospital for about 2 weeks and started his treatments. During that time his port got infected with MRSA and my wife gave birth to our daughter in the hospital next door. Fast forward to July: After the first month of intense chemo & steroids plus antibiotics for the MRSA, he was in remission and the MRSA was gone. Fast forward some more to now and he's 80% of the time he's back to his normal self. We still have our bad days during the months, but it's nothing like last fall and winter when he was grumpy and lethargic most of the time.

Anyways, during our stay in the hospital the social worker assigned to us informed us Logan, our son, was eligible for Make A Wish. This was amongst the Mt Everest size pile of information we were inundated with and I filed it away in the back of my mind. I was more concerned with getting him healthy enough to go home and then keeping it that way. Sometime around September 2018 I got a call from the local chapter, Make A Wish of Central New York. They took our basic info and were going to assign us Wish Granters that would come meet with us soon thereafter. At this point, we told Logan about it and told him to star thinking about something he'd want to do or someplace he'd want to go. First thing he said to us was "Can we go to Mickey's house". Mickey Mouse Clubhouse was the first TV show we let him watch and he's been carrying around a talking Mickey doll since he became mobile. Mickey is in just about all the pictures we have of his stay in the hospital.

My knowledge of Make a Wish was minimal. I didn't know if there were 'tiers' of wishes based on how severe a child's condition was. We just told him if that's what he wanted to do then he just had to tell Karen and Megan (his Wish Granters) when they came to visit him. During this time, he was on and off steroids regularly and we knew when his good and bad weeks were going to be so we coordinated with Karen & Megan so that they came to meet Logan during a good week to save them having to see him at his 'worst'. When they arrived at our house, Logan opened the door and his first words to them were "Can I go to Mickey's house?". And that was that. The wheels were set in motion for a trip to Disney World. Karen and Megan told us there'd be about a year wait. Logan's sense of time passage isn't there yet so he didn't really knew what that meant but he was still super excited and it made the next couple rounds of treatments a little better.

Jumping ahead to mid March of 2019. A couple of days after Logan's 4th birthday my wife got a text from Megan asking for both of us to call her when we had a chance. That night we called and Meg told us they had a couple of cancelations. We could go to WDW either the first or second week of May! Both of us had a "holy moly" moment and said we'd get back to her after talking to Logan's doctor and making sure both of our bosses would approve the time off. Nobody had any qualms so we were booked to leave for Orlando on May 16th.

We had taken Logan to WDW once before in November of 2016 when he was ~20 months old. This trip was going to be very different. Not just because he was older and we now have 2 kids. We learned we'd be staying at Give Kids The World Village and we'd have a rental car. Neither my wife nor I had ever been to the World while not staying in a WDW resort nor had either of us ever had a rental car while there.

What came next was the most fruitful trips either of us had been on. There were stressful moments, sure, but when Logan saw Mickey for the first time on this trip, I was a blubbering mess.

Stay tuned for more...

@wdwmagic & @The Mom I hope you don't mind me pointing people to Give Kids The World's website to learn more about what they do and to learn how they can help out their cause if interested. If inappropriate to do so, let me know and I'll remove.
 

riverside

Well-Known Member
Wow. With all that going on you had a new baby to take care of. God bless all of you--I can't even begin to imagine. I'm very happy to hear your son is doing better. I'm really looking forward to hearing about your trip.
 

MickeyCB

Well-Known Member
Following along, can't wait to hear of your adventures.
I can't even begin to imagine the last year of all of your lives and hope this trip helped build some fabulous memories.
 

Matt

Logan and Olivia's dad
Premium Member
Original Poster
Lets get this show on the road!

Day 0:

Make A Wish arraigned to have a limo service take us to the airport! Unfortunately, the limo part fell through and the owner of the company showed up in one of his company's minivans. It was 4am, so nobody really cared. Worked out better this way I think since it was easier to put the car seats in the captain's seats in the second row than it would have to get them in a limo.

We arrived at the airport and our Wish Granters met us at the curb along with one of the local managers and another volunteer. We learned there was another family going to Disney on our flight so we waited inside for them to arrive and we all got escorted to the front of the check-in line (no self check-in kiosks in SYR). We all got Jet Blue wings, priority status for the security line and headed upstairs. Got through security and to our gate where Logan and the other Wish kid, Gavin, ran around screaming like crazy kids until it was time to board. Since we had a car seat for Olivia and we were all Make A Wish, both families got to board first. Both wish kids also had the opportunity to go in the cockpit and sit in the pilot's seats. Logan got shy and didn't want to actually go in the cockpit, he just looked in from the door. TBH, I think I wanted to go in there more than him. I've always had a fascination with flying and if I had the means and time I'd pursue getting a license. But I digress..

Getting Liv's carseat in was an adventure. Had never done it before and since she's rear-facing in the car I figured she should be rear-facing in the plane. That idea was quickly abandoned and I switched it around to front-facing. Much easier to secure and this way she could see the TV screen in front of her (she's a Mickey addict, too). We were in the 3rd to last row so that afforded us enough time to get everybody settled before general boarding proceeded to us

2019 Logan's Wish - 7 by Matt C, on Flickr

It was his 5th time on an airplane, so not to say it was old hat at this point, but he wasn't afraid or anything. We gave Liv a bottle before we boarded and she fell asleep while we were taxiing out to the runway. 👍🏻

2.5 generally uneventful hours later...

Welcome to Orlando! Liv slept the whole flight. We had to wake her up when we disembarked. After getting off MCO's tram we were met by a representative from GKTW, Mike. Mike had a luggage cart so we threw Liv's carseat on there as well as Logan's suitcase that we carried on and the rest of our bags. Thanks, Mike! He walked us down to baggage claim. Here's where I started missing DME 😉

We had never rented a car from MCO before but were surprised to find it wasn't that far of a walk from the airport proper to the garage. There was a Maserati parked right next to the rental shack. We tried sweet talking the rep from National to let us have that but the idea got shot down right quick 😂 We ended up with a white Dodge Caravan. Never driven one and have sworn to never own one (I'm a car guy. I like driving my wife's RAV4 but will always and forever own a car). No special bells or whistles, just your base model Caravan. Easy enough to strap the kid's carseats into the captain's chairs in the second row. We stowed the 3rd row to free up ample space for all our bags and both strollers and we were off for Kissimmee.

Oh the love bugs. So many love bugs. The van was all nice and clean but by the time I got to a gas station to fill up the tank the front grille was coated and I had to scrub a layer off the windshield. We had forgotten about them since the last time we had visited during the month of May.

After arriving at GKTW, Diana led us to our bungalow. She took our picture by the sign outside. Logan didn't want his picture taken. If there's one thing everybody knows about Logan is that he's not shy to share his displeasure if he's doing something he doesn't want to do

2019 Logan's Wish - 16 by Matt C, on Flickr

It's a cute little place. Big kitchen, bigger living room. 2 bedrooms and 2 baths. The kids' coming with two twin beds and attached full bath with walk in shower and whirlpool tub. It also had a washer and dryer with a big jar full of detergent pods. This was a wonderful thing. We also had a tiny dishwasher with another jar full of detergent pods. Also wonderful as we stuck Liv's bottles in there overnight to wash along with other cups and whatnot.

2019 Logan's Wish - 18 by Matt C, on Flickr



Click the above pic to load a quick video tour Erica took.

On to our afternoon at Disney Springs in the next post!
 
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