It lasted for only about 10 seconds, but the words that poured out of then three-year-old wish recipient Trystian's mouth will forever be engrained in his parents’ minds.
After a long journey in and out of the hospital, receiving chemotherapy, and undergoing blood transfusions and spinal taps, Trystian finally made it to his wish trip. He pulled back the curtain at the Paradise Pier hotel and excitedly screamed, "Oh my dear - a roller coaster! Look Josh we did it! We found Disneyland®!"
The road to Disneyland® via Make-A-Wish® Alaska and Washington began in May 2012. Complaining of stomach pains and lethargy, doctors initially diagnosed him with apendicitis. Blood tests quickly revealed a much different diagnosis: leukemia.
"Our first year was all about making things happen and appreciating the time we have with all of our children," said his parents, Jeff and Sarah. "It was also about creating HOPE! Make-A-Wish made creating HOPE easy. They set a goal for our son. Make it through this year, start feeling better, and you get to meet Mickey and Minnie."
That is just what he did with the help of his family and his Make-A-Wish volunteers. They talked about it frequently, especially when times were a little harder. They started the countdown 90 days ahead. He eagerly awaited visits from Mr. Lou (one of his volunteers) who ultimately became one of Trystian's best friends. "Our Make-A-Wish experience became a lot less about a five-day trip and a lot more about a one-year journey making friends, creating hope, and in the end traveling to Disneyland®!", said his parents.
The family enjoyed all that the parks had to offer including going to the front of the line, a perk afforded to Make-A-Wish families, and an exclusive visit with Mickey and Minnie that included a game of checkers.
Before heading home, they also enjoyed some time at the beach. Soaking up the sun, dipping his toes in the salt water and making sand castles was the perfect way to end this trip. But, Trystian and his family's Make-A-Wish journey continues!
"When Trystian was diagnosed we struggled with a lot of things? We are a family that tries to focus outward when things are hard - how can we give and make good from bad? With Make-A-Wish we experienced hope in trial and now we can as a family focus on giving hope," said his parents. That is why Trystian and his family have raised funds to help grant even more wishes. "Knowing the fundraising we do will have a direct impact on another sick child is an amazing feeling. Knowing that impact will be positive and fun is priceless."
Special thanks: Wish-granting volunteers Lou Cutler and Lori Campbell, Alaska Airlines, Bayview Limousine, Disneyland®, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and Universal Studios