Today actually started on February 8th, 2012, when Chrissie and I (Grammie) took Emily to the ER at U.C. Davis Medical Center one night and Emily was first diagnosed with leukemia. Emily has bravely endured 2 1/2 years of daily treatments for leukemia – and, I might add, impressed and charmed everyone with her feisty, “Stitch” spirit. Chrissie, Jason, Ethan, Adam, William, and Sophie have also endured 2 1/2 years of treatments. It has been a wrenching, long journey, with many ups and many downs. Along the way, Emily and her family have been supported by some super awesome organizations – U.C. Davis Medical Center, Children’s Miracle Network, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and now – Make-A-Wish is taking their turn!
On May 28th of this year, Emily and all of her family went to the Make-A-Wish office in Sacramento and Emily informed them(!) that she would like to see Disney World and meet Minnie Mouse! TODAY is the day(!) – and a stretch limo picked them up at 5:00 am this morning! Well, they were supposed to leave at 5:00 am but girls’ hair – as in Chrissie’s(!) – delayed it a bit.
Chrissie spent yesterday sorting clothes for she and Jason and five children – a set to wear on the plane – an extra set to carry in the carry-on bags – and clothes to wear during their adventures. Make-A-Wish gave backpacks to each of the kids for the plane and Chrissie had purchased some activity things to keep them occupied during what will be almost a full day’s flight to Orlando, Florida. The U.S. Military has nothing to the logistics of a mother trying to pack for seven people for a week with five over-the-top-excited children running around in the middle of it.
The limo driver arrived shortly before 5:00! He was very patient. Children soon discovered their ride(!) and proceeded to check out every very-long inch of it!
So, this is what Make-A-Wish is doing for this family. They were taken by limo to the Sacramento Airport – and should be taking off right now – at 7:05 am – in a Southwest plane, on their way to Orlando, Florida. Chrissie texted me that they were given preferred TSA security, meaning they didn’t have to take off jackets or shoes or unload their bags of anything. That was very wise of someone to do as they didn’t get to the airport with all that much time to spare – at least not by Grammie’s standards. Chrissie said that the airline people also gave Emily a Disney coloring book with Minnie Mouse crayons! So their adventure has begun!
They will be staying at a place called Give Kids The World. It’s in Orlando, somewhere close to Disney World, and is only available for families of children with life-threatening diseases. These families are all sponsored by various charity organizations and the families are from all over the world. Emily and all will have their own villa, complete with washer and dryer! Why do I think that that will be needed?! Breakfast and dinner will be provided – there is horseback riding – miniature golf – an ice cream parlor – a spa for manicures, pedicures, and makeup(!) – and lots of organized activities. One Mom, who had already gone with her child, told Chrissie that Give Kids The World could be a destination, all by itself.
They will have three whole days at Disney World(!), where they will get to go to the head of all lines and will get to see places that the regular public doesn’t get to go – one day at LegoLand (Adam and William are particularly excited about this!) – and a day at Sea World. Make-A-Wish is providing them with a rental car – plus spending money for food and gas and souvenirs! They have left nothing undone – nothing —
Emily and her family are beginning a much-deserved adventure today – one that could only have happened through the prayers and physical support and donations of money and food and child care from everyone who is reading this blog – as well as a big, big God. They are well aware that they haven’t fought this battle alone. Thank you – thank you – thank you —- And thank you to Make-A-Wish for making this possible for them.