Every day the sound of Mickey Mouse’s voice echoes through Keegan’s home. Soon following are the sounds of laughter and giggling.
The sight of Keegan’s huge smile from to ear to ear as he watches his favorite Disney shows is one for the books. These are precious moments to any parent, but more so to ones with a child battling a life-threatening medical condition.
Keegan is three-years-old and has an unconditional love for Disney shows and characters. For this reason, he knew exactly what he wanted when Make-A-Wish® volunteers asked him the much anticipated question, “If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?” In that moment Keegan rushed to say, “I want to go to Disney World!”
Keegan’s mom, Brittin, wanted her son to have an experience that would make him feel normal. “Keegan loves to watch Mickey Mouse, so I knew Disney World was the perfect place for us to regroup after a difficult year.”
Keegan was diagnosed with Langerhans cell histiocytosis at the age of two, a condition that required him to go through chemotherapy, steroid treatments, countless tests and procedures – too much for anyone, much less someone so young. However, Keegan stayed strong through it all having Disney shows to bring him happiness on bad days.
When Keegan found out he was getting his wish, he was more than excited! Brittin told us that he kept saying, “I get to ride on the plane, on a train” over and over again leading up to the day of his trip. The wish was something to look forward to and Keegan knew that he would experience pure happiness, a feeling he hadn’t felt in a while.
Keegan’s favorite part of the wish was meeting Pluto. After Pluto signed his hat, “Keegan’s face was absolutely priceless,” describes Brittin. She mentioned that he has always been a Mickey Mouse fan but after meeting Pluto for the first time he was completely star struck.
Brittin describes the wish experience for her family in one word, “amazing”. It was an opportunity for the whole family to be happy and not worry about a thing. They all had smiles on their faces from the beginning to the end of the trip, which she said was a complete change from everyday life.
We asked Brittin what she would say to parents in her same position? “I just want others to know that the wish experience provides a lot of light in a very dark time. As parents, going through your child’s illness, you don’t see them genuinely happy for a long time. So this experience was so rewarding, and it’s completely life changing.”