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Maxim wished to meet his favorite animals - penguins!

Dressed for the cold, Maxim is ready to visit the penguin habitat at Sea World

“ Maxim thinks he is a penguin ”


- his mom

Maxim wishes to go to Sea World in Florida, and spend quality time with the penguins!

Maxim, an 8-year-old from Delmar, had the wish experience of a lifetime when he met the penguins at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida.  

He suffered from leukemia but is now in remission.  Maxim felt like he was walking on air after four years illness and treatments  It was so amazing that he could have this experience, said his mom, Sue.

Maxim fell in love with penguins at an early age.  He has a whole collection of stuffed penguins.  He can even identify every species.  "He thinks he is a penguin," chuckled his mom.

As part of Maxim's wish, he was given a special behind the scenes tour at SeaWorld in Orlando.  This was no ordinary tour.  He was completely surprised and thrilled to learn he would be meeting penguins up close.  

Maxim went into the penguins' man-made habitat during their feeding time.  To prepare to go into the enclosure, Maxim dressed warmly in a red winter coat, rubber boots, pants and gloves.  After all, the temperature is a cool 30 degrees.  

Maxim spent approximately one hour in the habitat interacting with the penguins.  He was able to touch and feed them, and was was completely at ease while in the habitat.  He was also able to ask the SeaWorld bird specialists questions about his favorite creatures. The highlight of Maxim's trip was when he was kissed by a baby King penguin, named Cody.

In addition to spending time at SeaWorld for the penguin encounter, Maxim also enjoyed Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.  However, meeting his new penguin friends was truly the highlight of the trip.

Maxim wants to work with penguins in the future.  His wish is an experience he will remember for years to come.  

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