Olivia stared out the window, elbows on the sill and chin in her hands, as the clock ticked. Five minutes. Ten. Fifteen …
“She was waiting for the limo to come,” mom Kellie said. “She was there for a good 30 minutes.
“She stayed by that window. It was magical, to say the least.”
The entire family shared that anticipation of Olivia’s Make-A-Wish® Northeast New York wish to Walt Disney World® Resort.
“Our family and Olivia are constantly in a state of coping,” said Kellie, whose 5-year-old daughter has a nervous system disorder. “During the period leading up to our trip, our family got to plan and talk about the fun that was coming our way.
“It allowed us to focus on something exciting and happy without stress. Looking forward to Olivia’s trip brought our family together in excitement and joy.”
Eventually the limo arrived to take the family to the airport for its flight to Orlando. Olivia broke into a smile that lasted all week.
In fact, she’s still smiling.
Kellie said the wish, which included mom, dad Mark, 7-year-old brother Jake and grandmother “NoNo,” was so much more than a vacation – for everyone involved.
The family became immersed in all things Disney, from the attractions to the rides. More importantly, the wish gave the family a chance to relax, have fun, and just enjoy being a family without worry.
“No other vacation will ever to be able to compare,” the mom said. “Even for my husband and I -- we didn’t have to think about anything.”
It was on this wish the parents discovered Olivia’s love of roller coasters, particularly Disney’s Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (which Olivia dubbed “Hi-Ho”).
“My daughter is still talking about it,” Kellie said. “We probably went on her roller coaster five times.”
Mom will routinely check in with her daughter how she feels. “I feel fine, Mommy,” the daughter almost invariably replies.
During her wish, Olivia had a different response:
“I feel happy.”
“Olivia has never said that before,” mom said. “I cried.”
A photo album sits out in the family home. Olivia still looks at the album regularly and loves to talk about her wish facilitated by wish granters Ray Gawlak and Lorraine Heck.
“The whole week was just great,” the mom said. “The wish will stay with our family forever.”