Eight-year-old Honolulu wish kid Kristian is happiest when surrounded by family and friends. He loves listening to people as they talk and interact with him, and he reacts by reaching out and moving with joy. Kristian is known for his bright smile and happy giggles, which warm the hearts of everyone he meets.
Born with a genetic nervous system disorder, Kristian is nonverbal and unable to walk or eat on his own. Between doctor appointments, physical and occupational therapy, school, and his feeding and medicine schedule, Kristian and his family are busy. His loving parents, Henry and Trisha, often require assistance from Kristian’s older sister, Krislyn. With the support of his entire family, Kristian enjoys practicing his fine motor skills, riding his adaptive tricycle, going on neighborhood walks, listening to audiobooks and music, and watching his favorite Disney shows.
When approached with the prospect of a wish, Trisha knew that Kristian would love to meet his favorite Disney characters in person. Although he could not verbally communicate what he wanted, Kristian’s parents and wish granters saw the way his face lit up when he watched Mickey Mouse. Together, they planned the perfect wish: a family trip to Walt Disney World.
“The list is endless for my husband and me – the fight is endless,” Trisha says. “To receive this wish for Kristian, as parents, we believe he deserved it after all he has been through and all he will go through in life.”
A particularly special aspect of Kristian’s wish is the bond he and his family developed with his wish granters, Jodi and Lydia, throughout the journey. “Kristian is from the most fabulous family. [They are] loving, super involved, creative,” Lydia says. “He’s made tremendous strides since I’ve known him from Early Intervention years, and it’s been so amazing to see his progress.”
The day of the wish reveal, Jodi and Lydia decorated Kristian’s house in Disney fashion to celebrate. Kristian was overwhelmed with joy, seeing his family, wish granters (“aunties”) and Disney toys. “Kristian’s smile… touched my heart. His facial expression, vocal sounds and giggles truly made it memorable as this day was just for him,” Trisha recalls.
Kristian and his family soon took a well-deserved trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. From the plane ride to the airport greeter to finally meeting his beloved Mickey Mouse, Kristian was “overjoyed with excitement” the entire trip. “The love, excitement and happiness truly showed in his facial expression,” Trisha remembers.
Kristian’s wish impacted the entire family, and sharing this with big sister Krislyn was an important moment in appreciation for all the help, patience, and love she gives when helping with her brother’s daily care. “This wish was something we wanted her to take part of because she deserves it as well,” Trisha says.
The memory of spending time together and enjoying Walt Disney World will be something the entire family will cherish forever. “[This came] during a time that all we were receiving was upsetting news, fighting for services for our son, daily challenges that all seemed endless,” Trisha says. “Words cannot describe how we all felt except to say that we were truly thankful and blessed.”