Less than 24 hours prior to her big trip, Delaney had to go in for her transfusion where they realized she had a fever of almost 101 degrees. As we all know, a little fever isn’t going to stop Delaney from a trip of a lifetime. She showed that by jumping up and down at 5 the next morning while yelling, “the lim-bo is here, the lim-bo is here!” Delaney was back to her normal silly self, the limo had arrived to take us to the airport, and we were ready to begin her Make a Wish trip.
Before making her official wish a Disney Cruise she went back and forth between that and Disney World. My wife and I were concerned about her being physically able to do multiple days of the Disney parks. We were glad she ended up choosing the cruise, but wanted her to be able to experience at least a day of Disney World so we got Make A Wish’s permission to take her to Disney World on our own. That was the plan, we just had no idea how awesome the whole trip would turn out to be.
The trip started with giggles and they continued throughout. Delaney and her sisters were giggling with the excitement of being in the limo, Delaney was giggling at her photo-bombing skills, and there was a point on the plane where I almost hushed her because she was laughing so loudly. I stopped myself before doing so as I realized that the hearty laughter of this little girl fighting cancer was bringing joy to anyone within ear shot… which was pretty much the entire plane.
We arrived in Florida and headed to Disney’s Art of Animation hotel which was perfect for Delaney. Our little tomboy isn’t into all the Disney princesses, but she loves the movie, “Cars”. She was thrilled to get to sleep in a Tow Mater bed that folded down from the wall and take pictures with the various characters from the movie. We meandered over to Downtown Disney and ate at a restaurant with dinosaurs before exhaustion caught up with Delaney and we needed to get her back to the hotel to spend some time with Tow Mater.
The next day had us up and early and off to experience the wonders of Disney. We were surprised to find that our little girl who had never been on a roller coaster or scary ride, now had the new favorite rides of The Tower of Terror and Aerosmith’s Rockin’ Roller Coaster. Yikes! Both very scary but tons of fun! We weren’t sure how she was going to do on the Tower of Terror until there was a part of the ride that drops you from what seems like a mile up. While I was busy soiling myself, I looked over to see if Delaney was okay and heard her yell at the top of her lungs, “THIS IS AWWWWESOMMMMME!!!”
My wife had to go over to Guest Relations to convert two of our tickets to Park Hopper passes and got to talking to the very nice folks that worked there. The topic of why we were out there came up, and one of them asked if we had already bought tickets for the next day. We hadn’t because we weren’t sure if she was going to be feeling well enough. He said, “Well, if she is, I hooked you guys up with a discount in case you decide to come back.” Me being my “Ebenezer/ Penny Pinching/ Not Wanting to Mortgage my House” self thought that even with a discount we weren’t going to be able to afford another day but was very grateful for the gesture AND the fact that he gave Delaney a Mickey wizard hat and a picture autographed by all of the Disney princesses. We were amazed at their generosity!
Speaking of generosity, the “discount” he hooked us up with was significant enough where even old Ebenezer couldn’t argue with another fun day at the park. Delaney was exhausted to the point of me having to carry her on my shoulders from ride to ride it may have been from just having a blast. And to think, all of this fun was even before her officially began!
On Sunday we got on the Disney Express bus to take us to our cruise ship, the Disney Dream. As we were approaching we could see the ship in the distance. It was enormous!
We were able to get right on the ship and start exploring. Three pools, a water slide, walk up any time ice cream, every Disney character, and even a detective agency just for kids… does it get any better than that? Delaney wasted no time getting all classy by wearing her new Mickey bow tie to dinner the first night. She was happy to show it off as well as her dance moves as she got up and cut the rug with a waiter at our very first dinner.
We woke up the next morning in the Bahamas where a dolphin adventure awaited. Part of Make a Wish’s goal is to allow the child with the illness to be able to have so much fun that they at least temporarily forget their illness. That was definitely achieved as Delaney and her sisters got in the water with the dolphin, got to dance with it, give it hugs and kisses, and laughing as it kept going back to their Mom for a kiss. That was a day that we’ll never forget.
That night Delaney broke out the big guns: Make A Wish included her wish to wear a tuxedo on the cruise and Delaney couldn’t wait to put it on. With her brand new tuxedo AND top hat, Delaney was getting compliments of “You’re the best dressed person on the entire ship!” She was loving it!
I wasn’t sure if Delaney would like seeing the different costumed characters, but she loved it! In fact, for her, one of the highlights of the trip was when she saw Donald Duck who was also wearing his tuxedo. He grabbed Delaney’s top hat and it on for a pic.
I feel like I am failing miserably in doing Make a Wish justice with this blog post and I know we’ll never be able to thank all of the generous people who helped make this trip of a lifetime possible, so I’ll just say thank you and end this with some fun Delaney photos from our trip.
Looking snazzy with big sis Emily
I Love Make A Wish!!!!