For families fighting critical illness, a wish come true can mean the world. For 4-year-old Makawao wish kid Jaedon and his ohana, it meant excitement and anticipation before the wish, pure joy and family fun during, and lasting fond memories for years to come.
From the very first visit with wish granters Jen and Nikki, Jaedon’s family knew that “something amazing was on its way.”
It was clear that visiting Walt Disney World® with his parents and sister was Jaedon’s most heartfelt wish. As Jen and Nikki began planning, he and his family started dreaming about the experience ahead of them. Jaedon’s dad Wayne said the anticipation and enthusiasm only grew as the wish got closer, as did the family’s relationships with their Make-A-Wish ohana, who kept in touch often, visited Jaedon at the hospital, and planned a special wish reveal party for him.
And when Jaedon’s wish finally came true, it was a source of pure joy, allowing him to focus on being a kid and having fun with his family at the happiest place on Earth.
The family enjoyed unlimited ice cream, miniature golf, train rides and so much more at Give Kids The World Village, a nonprofit resort in Florida where many wish families stay. And of course, they enjoyed the heart of Jaedon’s wish, Walt Disney World, where they rode his favorite rides, took photos, and spent time simply enjoying being together outside the stresses of their daily reality fighting congenital heart disease.
“Throughout our vacation, we were able to create and share the gift of being present as a family and with each other,” said Wayne. “We were so focused on the fun we had the day before and what we had planned for the day that all the medical issues and realities were pushed to the side.”
After returning to Hawaii, Jaedon and his family reflected on what a “spectacular, phenomenal, and mind-blowing experience” his wish truly was and how it continues to give them the strength and hope to keep fighting.
“There is a sense of happiness and fond memories that we often talk about when we come across a TV show, movie, character, or even the word ‘Florida,’” said Wayne. “In times coming, especially in difficult times, looking forward to another family vacation could be something we can use to encourage Jaedon to keep on fighting. People say there is no such thing as a fantasy. Well…they probably haven’t experienced Make-A-Wish.”