Stars whizzed by as Owen raced down the tracks of Walt Disney World®
Resort’s Space Mountain roller coaster. As he screamed with joy, his parents thought about Owen only one year earlier, and how they had missed the sound of their happy five-year-old.
Just days before starting kindergarten, Owen was taken to the emergency room because he was having difficulty breathing. Thinking it was bronchitis, the doctors did an X-ray and discovered a collapsed lung and a tumor the size of a softball.
On the day Owen was scheduled to start kindergarten, he was diagnosed with lymphoma. “That day is forever etched in my memory,” Owen’s mom, Kristen, said.
For the next 14 months, Owen’s life drastically changed. He was unable to start school, fell out of touch with his friends and was exhausted by his rigorous treatment schedule. Then Owen and his family were informed that he would receive a wish from Make-A-Wish® Minnesota.
Owen wished to go to Walt Disney World® Resort, and he quickly regained strength as he excitedly imagined his Disney® adventures.
Then finally the big day arrived! Owen’s family was off to Florida to enjoy the sunshine and everything the magical world of Disney had to offer. They explored the parks where Owen enjoyed the rides and had a chance to meet his favorite character – Captain Jack Sparrow. Another highlight was visiting the beach and seeing the ocean for the first time.
“It was nice to have fun with no worries about being sick,” said Owen’s mom, Kristen. “Make-A-Wish helps families forget about their child's everyday challenges by granting their dream, of whatever it may be. All the money in the world could never buy what we experienced. It was truly amazing.”