When 10-year-old Cade finally decided on his wish, he picked an experience that he could share with his entire family: a trip aboard a Disney Cruise Line® ship that included a meeting with Mickey Mouse. Cade is diagnosed with Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy — he and his family needed something special. His mom described the trip as nothing less than magical. “The whole trip was over-the-top good,” his mom wrote. “At a time when we were coming to grips with this life-threatening disease, we had something to look forward to and be happy about.”
A limousine got Cade and his family to the airport in high style. After arriving in Orlando, they discovered that, much to Cade’s delight, their hotel was right within the airport. Cade and his brother ordered room service every day, but always slept through the delivery.
During the cruise, Cade got the royal treatment from the ship’s crew. He played in the ship’s Youth Activities spaces and spent some time in the gift shop when he wasn’t ordering unlimited hamburgers and ice cream. During a break in the fun, he visited his stateroom and found special gifts that had been sent onboard the ship by Dana, a representative of Make-A-Wish®.
And then the real magic happened. Cade had a private meeting with Mickey Mouse and friends. With autograph book in hand, he got every Disney character’s signature and plenty of hugs.
More fun was in store. Cade went to sea in a glass bottom boat and watched the fish swim right beneath his feet. A family trip to the beach had him curling his toes in the warm sand splashing in the sparkling waves.
Cade is very proud that he could give his family such a memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. “It was the perfect trip to bring my family together,” he says with a smile. “To finally just have fun and enjoy one another’s company!”
By Alyssa Harris and Colleen Lester
Disney is proud to be a long-time supporter of the Make-A-Wish and uses its magic to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Over the past 30 years, Disney has supported the Make-A-Wish® mission, contributing more than $7 million in cash and in-kind donations each year. With more than 7,000 wishes granted every year – including visits to the Disney Parks, Disney cruises, meeting Disney characters, attending sporting events and visiting TV and movie sets – Disney-themed wishes continue to be the most popular requests by children to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.