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A TIME TO HEAL

For 3-year-old Joseph and his family, his wish to go to Walt Disney World wasn’t just a trip; it was an experience that was truly once-in-a-lifetime.

Diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Hystiocytosis right after he turned 2, Joseph’s world was turned upside down. Everyday activities shifted from playing with his brothers to routine visits to the hospital for check-ups and treatments. It was a rough time, to say the least, but the strength of his family carried him through.

With the support of three older brothers and two strong parents, Joseph always felt loved and protected. Despite all the new challenges and pain that came with his condition, he always knew that his mom, dad and brothers would be there to comfort him in their arms and give him unconditional love.

This is family’s bond was already unbreakable, but his wish brought them even closer together. Disney World turned out to be the perfect break for the family—a break from the hospital and all the worries and stress that they had endured for almost a year.

A WEEK OF “YES”

To truly make this trip special, Joseph’s mom decided that this would be the week of “YES.” Because of Joseph’s condition, for the past year, her answer to many of his questions had been “no.” But not this week! This is week was all about fun and enjoying this gift that was given to them without any worries or second-guessing. A trip to Walmart at 12 a.m.? Sure! Ice cream at 8 a.m.? Why not? It was every kid’s dream, but it was also something they all deserved and needed—to let loose and just have fun.

SOMETHING TRULY MAGICAL

The experience was “amazing,” as Joseph’s dad described. Disney World, SeaWorld, Dinosaur World and Give Kids the World provided the family with memories of joy and laughter to last forever. For Christie, Joseph’s mom, the best part of it all was seeing her kids playing, having fun and just being silly boys again.

“My favorite moment of the whole wish experience was watching my kids,” Christie explains. “Watching them play, watching them have fun. It wasn’t just about Joseph; it was about everybody—all of us felt special.”