Almost every day one of the kids asks, “How many days until Disney?” The anticipation meter is through the roof!
We haven’t updated in a while and I don’t know that we’ve ever posted much about Make-a-Wish. Well… here we go!
For those of you unfamiliar with Make-a-Wish, they are a fantastic charity that makes it their mission to grant wishes for children with critical illnesses. We were referred to them probably about 2 years ago and a bit surprised to learn that Havyn qualified for a wish. I’d always been under the assumption that Make-a-Wish was only for kids with a terminal diagnosis. In fact, a majority of these kids “go on to achieve their dreams and give back to the community.”
The Make-a-Wish people are pretty insistent, and with good reason, that the child choose their own wish. So about a year ago we sat down with Havyn and set the stage. “Alright baby girl… you can wish for anything you want! Dream big! Do you want to go somewhere special? Do you want to meet someone special? Do you want to do something special?”
Havyn thought for a few moments, mulling things over. “Ummm… I think I want to go to Chuck E. Cheese!” Haha! Not exactly the big dream we were hoping for but it was her dream… so I said, “WISH GRANTED! Daddy’s taking care of that one. Now let me tell you about this other mouse…”
Much has transpired over the last year or so. Once a kid is approved for a wish, they are added to a list and they wait for volunteer “wish granters” to choose them and help them proceed. That process took a while, but thankfully we were in no rush. Because Havyn’s prognosis has been good, and because she was still in the middle of chemo treatments, we wanted to let some time pass anyway.
Eventually, two wonderful women — Jessica and Tamara — stepped up and chose to help Havyn. I could elaborate on all of the details, but I’ll fast-forward a bit to mention two recent events.
First, we had the chance a couple weeks ago to join the local chapter of Make-a-Wish as they presented at Orr Safety here in Louisville. We enjoyed a yummy lunch and some wonderful company. Orr Safety has been a major donor to Make-a-Wish and this lunch was a chance to educate some of their staff on the organization. They also wanted to introduce them to a family who was benefiting from the program. That’s where we came in. We had a chance to share Havyn’s story and to offer our gratitude for the way they’ve rallied around such a great cause. We got to hear several other stories and walked away grateful, humbled, and inspired. It was so cool to have Mamaw, Aunt Missy, and cousin Mary join us!
And then yesterday… After a great morning at church and some time hanging out with friends (Morgan and Piper!) we packed the kids in the minivan and let them know we had a special treat for them. They didn’t know where we were heading until we pulled into the parking lot of…. CHUCK E. CHEESE! Make-a-Wish offered to have Havyn’s “reveal party” at the house of the other, slightly creepier, mouse! Jessica, our friend from MAW and her daughter Kayla did a fantastic job hosting the party. We loved having our amazing friends, the O’Neal’s, there to celebrate with us! There was pizza, games, cake, and lots of smiles all around. Tammy and I were given the itinerary and all the needed details for the Disney trip.
And let me just say that we are o…ver…whelmed. (In a good way.) We are about to be spoiled… I’ll save the details for later posts so that any readers out there can experience it as we do. Needless to say, though, that this trip is going to be insane. To say we are excited would be an understatement.
In the meantime, however, we’ve been getting tons of Mickey advice from so many of you. Thanks to Jessica and Kayla, Misty, Diane, Danira, Catie, Heather, and so many more for taking your time to help us make the most of this opportunity.
But before the fun we have to spend a couple quick days in St. Louis. Havyn is scheduled to see a host of docs there in what has now become our yearly trip to the Gateway City. She’ll see Dr. Gutmann (the NF1 specialist) along with a neuro-oncologist, an endocrinologist, an ophthalmologist, and a couple others. We leave Wednesday and will be returning Friday night. It’s just mommy, daddy, and Havyn this time. Thanks Mom, Teresa, Brooke, Ethan and a bunch of incredible neighbors for holding the fort down while we are gone. We’ll post a quick update with any news from the trip.
That’s all for now! 16 days and counting….