Our son Roel was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in March 2011, 5 days shy of his 2nd birthday. He celebrated his 2nd birthday at Dell Children’s Medical Center receiving his very first of 38 months of chemotherapy treatments.
At age 2 ½, when Roel became eligible, he was referred to Make a Wish by his doctor.
Throughout the following year, we would hear Roel ask “Are jaguars real? Can cheetahs run fast? Where do bears live?” We noticed a strong interest in all kinds of animals. We thought the best places to see and experience all kinds of animals would be the San Diego Zoo! And another fun and unique experience offered by the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is a Roar & Snore Sleepover. This was a special overnight camping adventure where the family enjoyed private tours after the park closed, making crafts and toasting smores in the open campfire. Following story time, we retired to our tent for the evening.
After his visit to San Diego Zoo & Safari Park, Roel’s trip also included a stop at the magical Legoland Resort, where he also enjoyed the Waterpark and the Sea Life Aquarium.
It is no secret that Disney parks are the happiest places on earth. After all the treatments that Roel has been through and will continue to go through, there was no better place to consider for the grand finale of his Make a Wish trip other than Disneyland & California Adventure! Within the first hour of arriving at the park, Roel met and had photos taken with his favorite Disney Characters—Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and Goofy.
Roel has 14 more months left of chemotherapy treatments. By the time June 2014 rolls around, he will have completed 38 months of treatments. Our family, which consists of Roel's 7 year old sister, Anasofia and his parents, Fernando & Victoria are grateful to the Make a Wish organization and all donors who make wishes come true for children with life threatening illnesses. Your efforts help children and families like ours take one week out of our lives to experience a once in a lifetime adventure and make memories that will be with us forever.