Because 3-year-old Lincoln is nonverbal, it can sometimes be difficult to tell how he feels about things. There are two things, though, where there isn’t any question: Mickey Mouse and Goofy. Lincoln lights up and giggles every time he sees them, and his Mickey Mouse stuffed toy and blanket have been by his side his whole life.
Wish mom Malia has leveraged this love to help Lincoln cope with his nervous system disorder, putting on old Goofy cartoons to incentivize Lincoln completing his lessons and wearing his cochlear implants.
When approached with the prospect of a wish, Malia wondered at all the possibilities, and knew that Lincoln would enjoy meeting his favorite characters in real life more than anything. “I could not wait to see him be a little boy in amazement,” she recalled.
Lincoln’s wish was soon revealed at the 4th annual Waffles for Wishes fundraiser, hosted by the Make-A-Wish Hawaii Young Leaders Board. After enjoying brunch, the special announcement was made, and Lincoln was called to the stage. He and his family passed through a tunnel of supporters, all holding signs and cheering for them, before being presented with Mickey Mouse balloons, a giant boarding pass, and an itinerary for the upcoming wish.
“To see how much everyone cared for Lincoln and us was greatly appreciated,” said Malia, who described the experience as on an entirely different emotional level than anything the family had experienced before. “This was based on joy, happiness, and making a little boy’s dreams come true.”
But the reveal was just the beginning. During Lincoln’s wish come true at Walt Disney World®, Malia saw him react with more joy than ever before. “He was a different little boy,” said Malia. “I didn’t realize that I had only seen Lincoln react to knowing he was about to be uncomfortable with what the doctors were about to do. He has never reacted with sounds of enjoyment and giggles.”
The wish continues to impact Lincoln, Malia, and their family months later—and will for years to come. Lincoln expresses his wants and needs more, he laughs more, and he works harder in school.
“This wish has brought our family closer together. We laugh and play more. We don’t let the ‘The Diagnosis’ consume us,” said Malia. “This wish has helped me show my family why I want to give Lincoln all the opportunities in the world…why there is no waiting to make memories…why Lincoln deserves it all.”