Friday, October 18, 2013

Make a Wish Trip

How do you describe the most amazing trip?  When your child is diagnosed with Cancer your world is turned completely upside down.  Your child's days consist of pain and tears, sickness and fear.  As the parent you spend countless nights worrying instead of sleeping.  You watch your child forced to grow up too fast as they are confronted day after day with things that they shouldn't even know about.  When the opportunity comes to step away from all of this, to allow your child to leave the pain behind and just be a kid for a little while, well, it's hard to describe how amazing that gift is.  Make a Wish gave us just such a gift.  The ability to leave behind the world of Cancer and allow my little boy to just be a kid.  To ride roller coasters and see Mickey Mouse, build sand castles on the beach, and pretend he is Harry Potter.  Not once in 10 days did he have to be poked or examined or throw up from poison injected into his body.  As his family we were able relax and build memories that will last a life time.  As Austin's parents, we were able to see pure joy and take a break from all the stress of his treatment.  The memories made during this week will help us face the tough road ahead as we face 2 more years of treatment.
Ok, get ready for picture overload!  This is only a taste of our amazing trip.

Our bags are packed....Austin's wish grantors gave us these luggage tags.  It made them super easy to find at the airport.

Ready to go!! These are 3 very excited kids

Waiting to load the plane.  

We flew on Southwest and they were amazing.  We got to board the plane first and the kids got to go into the cockpit and meet the pilot.  I don't think they realized how big a deal that is but their Mom and Dad sure did!

We stayed at Give Kids the World Village.  It is a very special place only for Wish kids and their families.  The atmosphere of this place is incredible.  It is entirely run by volunteers and that translates into a very special spirit of love and hope.  We had as much fun in the Village as at the parks and made sure we returned early each night to enjoy all of the activities.
In front of our Villa
Meeting Mickey

Austin's star that is now hanging in the "Castle of Miracles" in the Village.  Every wish kid gets a star and there are thousands all over the tower.

Face painting in the Village

Austin's favorite treat.  The Village has free ice cream any time you want it.  The kids even had it for breakfast one day!

Our tickets to the parks.
On to the parks.  Make a Wish gave us three days at Walt Disney World, two days at Universal Studios, and one day at Sea World.  Kevin made us matching shirts to wear at each of the parks.  My Mom joined us for 4 of the days and it was so fun to have her with us.  She has been our biggest supporter through Austin's treatment so it was only fitting that she get to enjoy in Austin's wish.  We didn't get her onto any roller coasters but she was happy to watch Jaxon for us so the rest of us could go on the big rides.  Thanks Mom, we love you!


Space Mountain

 We were so spoiled at each of the parks.  They really treat Wish kids and their families like royalty.  We never had to wait in line, we got right in to restaurants, shows, and meet and greets with characters. They gave us free pictures and food.  We decided that we will never be able to go back because any other trip wouldn't be the same.  Being treated as VIP's is pretty darn fun!

Jaxon's first time on Splash Mountain!  He loved it

The Haunted Mansion

Meeting Madison's favorite princess.  Doesn't Austin look thrilled?  We had to practically drag him into the building as he wanted nothing to do with princesses.

The penguins at Sea World.  The kids were freezing, but I could watch them all day.

After a week of running to parks and all the fun at the Village we were ready for a relaxing break before we came home.  We extended our trip with three days at Cocoa Beach.  This was my favorite part of the trip.  We sat on the beach and the kids made sand castles and played in the waves.  The water was warm and beautiful. 

After 10 wonderful days we had to return to reality. I cannot express in words the immense gratitude that I have to all of those that made our trip possible.  To all of those that donated money to Make A Wish, to our amazing wish grantors that put everything together and made Austin so excited,  to those that volunteer at Give Kids the World, to the Ihop waitress that gave us our meal for free, and the kind woman at the airport that gave us money and told us to buy the kids some ice cream; to all of these and so many more we say thank you.  Thank you for reaching out and helping a little boy and his family experience the most amazing 10 days of our lives.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Another Back Poke

Austin and I made another trip to Primary's for Austin's Lumbar Puncture and Chemo.  Kevin wasn't feeling well so he stayed home with the dogs.  It was an uneventful visit which is always a good thing.  Austin's ANC was 1300 so we are cleared to go on his Make a Wish trip.  

 Hct 34.5 Plts 219 ANC 1300 Weight 42.5