Nolan and his family were enjoying time at the park over Memorial Day last year when they noticed the left side of Nolan’s face was starting to droop. The next day, the drooping had become much more severe. Doctors later diagnosed five-year-old Nolan with rhabdomyosarcoma.
“Our lives were turned upside down after Nolan’s diagnosis,” reflects his mother, Tara. The next 10 months were filled with doctor visits and making sure they did what they could to help Nolan fight his cancer. He even had to move out of state temporarily for part of his radiation treatment. “We were really just living from one visit to another. We didn’t feel that we had the freedom to make any other plans – it was all about treatment.”
At the end of Nolan’s 10-month treatment, he had something positive to look forward to - his wish. With Nolan’s love for animals and theme park rides, it comes as no surprise that his wish was to go to Walt Disney World® Resort.
Nolan had an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go behind the scenes at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park and see all his favorite animals. He spent a lot of time with the elephants. He also enjoyed riding the rides and eating ice cream daily. The trip was a magical time for Nolan and his family. It was a way to celebrate and just be a family – with no thoughts of doctor visits, treatments, or being sick. “Our trip to Disney helped us to remember how to have fun together again.”