Fairy GodMAW Grants Princess Bella's WISH! Update 12/2 - One more sleep til Disney!
CHAPTER 1 - WISHES DO COME TRUE
Did you know that sometimes, if you wish hard enough and long enough, and if you truly believe in miracles and fairy tales, that some way, some how your wishes really can come true? pixiedust: This is the true story of a real princess, Isabella,princess: and of how her greatest wish in the world will one day soon be granted. Through the generosity of strangers, the kindness of friends, and the grace of God, Isabella’s wish to be a Princess and go to Disneyworld will soon become her reality.
If you had told me six years ago that today I would be writing a pre-trip report for my daughter’s Make-A-Wish Trip to Disneyworld, I would have though you were out of your mind. :crazy: Six years ago I would have told you that I had two perfectly healthy daughters :cloud9: and was expecting our third to follow in their healthy footsteps. Six years ago, chronic ear infections were a medical emergency and brought me to my knees in tears :scared: – today I pray :worship: for minor surgeries over major ones and hope the next clinic appointment won’t result in a week-long hospital admission. Six years ago, I thought a miracle would be winning the lottery – today, I am honored to hold a miracle in my arms every day :hug: and count my blessings as I kiiss her forehead and wish her sweet dreams each night. :love2:
In February of this year (2009), I first gave serious thought :idea: to seeking a Wish for Isabella. Many, many times in the past we were encouraged to submit Isabella’s name to Make-A-Wish for consideration. I did my research and knew there was a good chance she would qualify, but I had always politely declined, claiming she wasn’t ‘that’ sick or feeling guilty :guilty: that Isabella’s wish would prevent another sicker child from having his/her wish granted. Truth be told, I didn’t want to face the awful truth – that Isabella’s illnesses in fact are life threatening and potentially fatal – that admission continues to bring tears to my eyes. :sad2:
In February, as Isabella slept in a hospital bed for the 225th time in her 4 ½ years of life, I prayed for an easy answer to the latest ailment which had landed us in the hospital again. Instead what we got was yet another diagnosis that would alter her life forever. :sick: Pancreatic insufficiency meant that, in addition to the long list of other challenges Isabella already faced, she would now require 6 capsules of medication, 4 times a day, for the rest of her life. But it wasn’t until the lab tech/vampire came into the room to stick my sleeping princess with a needle not just once but FOUR times :mad::mad: to test her DNA for cystic fibrosis that I made up my mind – no matter what the results, no matter what the next diagnosis, spare no expense and no holds barred - this child deserves to have her greatest wish come true!
When we returned home three days later after Isabella was discharged from the hospital, the first thing I did was submit her name to the Make A Wish Foundation.:surfweb: And so begins the story of how Princess Isabella’s princess: Wish will soon be coming true!
CHAPTER 2 - I WISH TO SEE ORCHIDS!?!?!
CHAPTER 3 - INTRODUCING THE CAST OF CHARACTERS
CHAPTER 4 - DISNEY TRUMPS PERFECT ATTENDANCE - DATES ANNOUNCED
CHAPTER 5 - THE RACING SAUSAGES MEET MICKEY MOUSE
CHAPTER 6 - A HISTORY OF BELLA - WHY THIS WONDERKID IS GETTING A WISH
CHAPTER 7 - LET THE PLANNING BEGIN! COUNTDOWNS, MATCHY-MATCHY DEBATE, AND MOVIE NITES
CHAPTER 8 - T-MINUS 120 DAYS AND ALMOST COUNTING!
CHAPTER 9 - CLEARANCE CRAFTS CALL MY NAME - FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT PREVIEW!
CHAPTER 10 - 1st DISNEY FAMILY NIGHT - CARS
CHAPTER 11 - THE SCOOP ON SEATTLE PART 1
CHAPTER 12 - THE SCOOP ON SEATTLE PART 2
CHAPTER 13 - ORLANDO, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!
CHAPTER 14 - DISNEY FAMILY NIGHT #2 - A BUG'S LIFE
CHAPTER 15 - DISNEY FAMILY NIGHT #3 - HANNAH MONTANA
CHAPTER 16 - ENLIGHTEN ME, PLEASE! WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED CANDLELIGHT PROCESSIONAL?
CHAPTER 17 - DISNEY FAMILY AFTERNOON #4 - MULAN
CHAPTER 18 - DISNEY FAMILY NIGHT #5 - HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL
CHAPTER 19 - DISNEY FAMILY NIGHT #6 - PETER PAN . . . ERRR, UM, I MEAN TINKERBELL!
CHAPTER 20 - DISNEY FAMILY NIGHT #7 - ALADDIN
CHAPTER 21 - DISNEY FAMILY NIGHT #8 - FINDING NEMO
CHAPTER 22 - DISNEY FAMILY NIGHT #9 - LION KING
CHAPTER 23 - DISNEY FAMILY NIGHT #10 - TOY STORY
CHAPTER 24 - DISNEY FAMILY NIGHT #11 - SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS
CHAPTER 25 - DISNEY FAMILY NIGHT #12 - CINDERELLA
CHAPTER 26 - DISNEY FAMILY NIGHT #13 - BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS
CHAPTER 27 - DISNEY FAMILY NIGHT #14 - HAUNTED MANSION
CHAPTER 28 - PIXIE DUST, POSTCARD, PUBLICITY, AND PRAYERS PLEASE!
CHAPTER 29 - MAROO APPROVED PLANS REVEALED
CHAPTER 30 - BACK UP WISH PROGRESS AND WISH PARTY PLANNING
CHAPTER 31 - DAY 1 DETAILS - TRAVEL DAY AND GKTW EXPLORING
CHAPTER 32 - DAY 2 US/IOA DETAILS AND BACK UP WISH PIXIE DUST
CHAPTER 33 - DAY 3 - EPCOT and CP WITH SCC!
CHAPTER 34 - WISH PARTY PLANS, BACK UP PROGRESS
CHAPTER 35 - A MAGICAL EVENING FOR PRINCESS BELLA
CHAPTER 36 - A DAY OF REST? NOT LIKELY! FISHIN', A SKY HIGH FLY BY, AND MVMCP!
CHAPTER 37 - BIG GIVE BEGINS!
CHAPTER 38 - BIG GIVE CONTINUES!
CHAPTER 39 - DFN#15 - THE LITTLE MERMAID
CHAPTER 40 - DAY 5 PLANS - SEA WORLD & MORE, WISH PARTY PLANS, and E-DAY
CHAPTER 41 - CHRISTMAS COMES EARLY TO THE GRIGGS HOUSE - MORE BIG GIVE!!
CHAPTER 42 - DAY 6 PLANS - AK IN THE AM AND HS AT NIGHT
CHAPTER 43 -WISH PARTY PLEASURE, CAMERA CATASTROPHE, AND BIG GIVE GALORE
CHAPTER 44 - BIG GIVE WONDERLAND AND MISCELLANY
CHAPTER 45 - IT'S CRUNCH TIME! PLEASE HOLD MY FEET TO THE FIRE!
CHAPTER 46 - BACK UP PROGRESS
CHAPTER 47 - LISTMANIA!
CHATPER 48 - TINKABIG GIVE AND MY ATTEMPT TO SEW
CHAPTER 49 - DAY 7, 8, 9, AND 10 PLANS - THE SHORT VERSION
END OF PRE TRIP REPORT. PLEASE JOIN ME AS I SHARE ALL THE DETAILS OF OUR AMAZING WISH TRIP
Bella’s Very Merry WISH-mas Party – 10 Days of Dreams Come True MAW/GKTW Dec 3-10
Great start to your pre-trip! I'm looking forward to learning more!
Great start to your report! Welcome! Thanks for sharing your daughter's story! :wizard:
Chapter 2 - I Wish to go see Orchids?!?!
Now that we ‘know’ eachother, I will begin referring to the Her Royal Highness as Bella princess:– the name she is commonly called by friends and family.
So where were we? Ah yes, in late February, I had submitted Bella's to Make-A-Wish to see if she would qualify to have a wish granted. Here is a photo of Bella during her hospitalization in February and another pic of her 2 days after she got out. She always has smile on her face, just such a happy girl!
In order to be granted a Wish, a child must be between the ages of 2 ½ and 18 and be diagnosed with a life threatening illness as determined by a treating physician. After submitting Bella’s name, I spoke with her GI doc and he stated that they had recommended several children for wishes in the past. He also stated that those children’s medical history “pales in comparision to what Bella has been through.”
In early April, I called the local office to see if they had any news for us. :confused3 I was thrilled to hear that Bella was approved :banana::banana::banana: and then proceeded to watch the mailbox daily for a "big white envelope" which contained details and information on Make-A-Wish. When it arrived a couple days later, DH Ben and I drooled over the information and daydreamed about possibilities. You'd think my husband and I had just been granted a wish with how giddy we were. :goodvibes:
That evening, we told our 3 daughters, including Bella, about Make A Wish. This may have been a mistake as the older two, AJ, 10 and Kennedy, 8 tried daily to persuade Bella to wish for this or that. It was quite amusing to be honest, except when Kennedy had Bella conviced that she should wish for a horse to live at our house. :eek: Bella once told me she was going to wish to go see "Orchids." Orchids? I asked. "Ya," she stated, "you know those big fish." It was then that I realized AJ was attempting to persuade Bella to wish to see Orcas at SeaWorld! :rotfl2: Nonetheless, Bella's Wish changed on a daily basis and the only thing consistent was that it usually had something to do with princesses. princess:
In the meantime, our little miracle celebrated her 5th birthday on April 21st. It still amazes me that 5 years have already gone by! A couple pictures from her birthday celebration! As you can see she had a Disney Princess Cake and theme.
In late April, our Wish Granter, Carrie , finally called us! She told us she was trying to get a hold of our other Wish Granter, Amber, to work out a date to meet. Through several phone calls, we finally decided on May 22. Waiting was the hardest part.
On May 22, our Wish Granter, Carrie came to our home to visit with our family. Amber had to cancel at the last minute unfortunately (she lives 1.5 hours away and we're all surprised that she was assigned to Bella's wish ). When Carrie arrived, I introduced her to the girls and Bella immediately responded "I am going to wish for Disneyworld!" I laughed and joked with Carrie that this must be her shortest meeting ever!
We sat in our living room and Carrie showered the girls with tons of gifts. Puzzles, toys, coloring books, stuffed animals - the girls were in Heaven! After the mini-Christmas, Carrie asked Bella a whole bunch of questions about her favorite color, tv show, singer, restaurant, food (she said hot dogs), etc.
Then Carrie asked Bella what she wanted to wish for. Matter of factly, Bella answered "To go to DisneyWorld!" Not a doubt in her mind, that girl knows what she wants! Bella also said she wants to meet the Princesses there! Carrie asked us for dates and we suggested 2 dates in August or one in October. Hopefully they will get back to us soon on the date because not knowing is going drive me out of my mind! The girls are all so excited and I must admit, Ben and I are too.
A picture of Bella and her Wish Granter, Carrie!
After all our family has been through these past 5 years, the ups and downs, the highs and lows, Bella, AJ, and Kennedy truly deserve this trip and now we can't wait to go!
NEXT UP - CHAPTER 3 - CAST OF CHARACTERS
[:quote:]In February, as Isabella slept in a hospital bed for the 225th time in her 4 ½ years of life, I prayed for an easy answer to the latest ailment which had landed us in the hospital again. Instead what we got was yet another diagnosis that would alter her life forever. :sick: Pancreatic insufficiency meant that, in addition to the long list of other challenges Isabella already faced, she would now require 6 capsules of medication, 4 times a day, for the rest of her life. [:quote:]
Dev and my DD9 both suffer from this...however they have both slowly come off their meds. They looked for CF and Celaic. Neither was the case. They never have found the cause, both of their pancreases did kick in...eventually. DD9 was on them from 14 mths. until age 8. There is hope that if there is no other cause that the meds will go away. :hug:
Bella is BEAUTIFUL! Love the snow hat.
Thank you for your compliments - I am sad that the hat won't fit her next winter :(
Woo Hoo!!! Another Wish Trip!
And what an awesome job you have done...two updates before I could even come check them out!
I am so excited for your whole family. It will be a magical trip!
I am totally in...and will list this on the wish trippers thread front page so other folks can find you guys. :goodvibes
You write so well! I'm in love with your Bella already.
May I suggest that you skip the font formating? IT seems to make the post run wide and difficult to read.
Great pre trip report so far. Can't wait to hear more.
Thanks Maroo - so glad you made it over here! And thanks for posting my TR on the Wish Trippers board. Now I just need to link it in my signature. I am hoping to put together a graphic of some sort if I can ever figure out why my photoshop isn't working.
Mya was a little irritable at first but now she is back to her bubbly self. Bella is a beautiful child and I am glad that she was approved for a wish after her many hardships.
Chapter 3 – Cast of Characters
I was originally going to go through Bella’s medical history to explain why she is getting a Wish, but instead decided I should probably introuduce you to the Stars of the Show first. The Cast of Characters for Bella’s Make A Wish trip will be:
Bella (DD5) – Isabella, BellaBoo, TinkerBella, Izzy . . . princess: is the Wish Child and Star of the Show. I’ll go into further details later, but to summarize, Bella is an adorable, precocioius 5 year old self-proclaimed princess. She is our Miracle and we are so blessed that she completes our family. She was born 4 weeks premature and weighed just 4lbs. Her first 3 months of life were spent in a NICU. In total, she has spent over 225 nights in the hospital. This includes 7 major surgeries and over a dozen minor ones. In February of this year, her list of life-threatening diagnoses hit 5 and I decided she was overdue to have a wish granted. She struggles daily with multiple health issues but her strength and spirit are an inspiration to many who know her including myself.
Here is a picture of DH and I on our recent trip to Las Vegas:
A little bit about our family. We live in Wisconsin, in a city of about 23000 midway between Madison and Milwaukee for the past 6 years. We have one pet, a beloved dog named Scooby – he is a beagle/boxer mix we adopted from the humane society shortly after moving into our home.
Ben and I both went to Disney several times as children. One of Ben’s best memories is being there on Christmas day once when they had to close the park because of the crowds. Mine is riding space mountain over and over and over again when there was no line. Now that our kids are old enough to enjoy the Magic of Disney, we intend to do our best to take our kids to Disney at least once a year. ::MickeyMo::MinnieMo
We first took our kids to Disney in January of 2007. It was Grandpa Curt’s Christmas gift for the whole family. 8 days, 7 nights of deluxe accommodations in the Princess Suite at the Polynesian with Grandma and Grandpa, Ben’s brothers TJ and Kyle, Kyle’s girlfriend Betsy, and our family. It was an amazing time. I will post a picture of this trip once I find the cd they are on.
Our second trip was September 2008. Bella had just spent 8 weeks in a hospital in Baltimore (pretty much our entire summer) and AJ and Kennedy had spent their summer staying at a Ronald McDonald House in Washington DC with Grandma to be near us. It was a rough summer, so we took them all to Disney to make up for it. We stayed 7 days at the Caribbean Beach Resort during Free Dining Days. Again, we had an amazing time.
And the Supporting Cast – I must mention them because without them we wouldn’ be taking this trip and I will likely be referring to them many times during this pre-trip report –
Make A Wish Foundation (Fairy GodMAW) – An incredible organization that grants Wishes of all sorts to children between the ages of 2 ½ and 18 who have been diagnosed with a life threatening illness. The Wisconsin Chapter of Make A Wish is organizing Isabella’s Wish Trip to Disneyworld.
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Physicians and Staff (CHW) – This is Bella’s Home Away from Home whenever she is sick. The staff there treat us like family and it is because of them that Bella is doing as well as she is today.
NEXT UP – CHAPTER 4 – Disney Trumps Perfect Attendance!
Chapter 4 - Disney Trumps Perfect Attendance - Dates Announced!
Let's see, where were we? Ah yes, Isabella had just told her Wish Granter, Carrie, that she wished to go to Disneyworld! :thumbsup2 Those words were music to my ears (and Bella's sisters as well)!
As is protocol, Carrie asked Bella what her second wish would be (gotta have a back up, just in case ;) ) and Bella stated that she would like a Princess bedroom with a castle bed. Though Carrie assured me that Bella will likely get her Disney wish, I couldn't help but think a Princess Castle Bedroom Makeover would be pretty amazing - but NOT nearly as amazing as DISNEYWORLD! Because I just can't say no to my little girl, I am hoping to somehow make the Princess Bedroom wish come true as well though I'm certain it won't be nearly as incredible as Make A Wish would make it.
Anyway, on with the show! Carrie had us fill out a bunch of paperwork to get the Wish ball rolling. She asked us if we had any dates in mind. All this preparation and anticipation and I didn't ever give a thought to 'when' we might want to go. My first thought was "next week" but I was pretty sure that would be unreasonable. :lmao: So I initially suggested the second week in August as our first preference. My thought was to avoid the kids missing school as well as avoid July altogether (hot and crowded I've heard). Our oldest daughter, AJ, was super excited for an August vaca because she REALLY wants to win the Perfect Attendance award at school next year.
After getting on the DISboards and announcing the good news, a few kind people :worship: suggested that I may want to look into different dates because of the extreme heat of August. And though I truly wanted to go sooner rather than later, I quickly came to the realization that comfortable weather will need to take priority over my desire to go as soon as possible. And despite AJ's desire to win Perfect Attendance, we quickly decided that going to Disney in August (or any summer month) was not going to happen. So sorry Daughter Dearest, Disney trumps Perfect Attendance (though we did give AJ the option to stay home :rotfl2: - she declined).
So August was out because of the heat. September is a difficult month to pull the kids out of school (we learned that last time) because they are just getting settled into new routines. October? A possibility, but we've seen the MNSSHP deco before and our family isn't terribly crazy about Halloween in general. What about November? Definitely not around Thanksgiving, but early November was a possibility. Unfortunately, there are a lot of school and PTO events that we'd miss.
So that brings us to December. Ahhh . . . December. What could be more perfect that spending Christmastime :santa: at Disneyworld with 3 Princesses princess:princess:princess: and My Prince Charming :groom: ? Yes, early December would work out perfectly. Early December means we wouldn't miss any of the Holiday happenings at school, DH shouldn't have any issues with time off of work, and the chances of decent weather are relatively good. Best of all, we will have the opportunity to see Osbourne Lights as well as Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (we've never seen either before)!
So December was now our new first choice for dates with November as our second choice. That information, as well as about a million questions, was relayed to our Wish Granter and Make A Wish. Then we sat back and waited . . . and waited . . . . and waited.
Ok, in all reality it was only 4 days of waiting, but as you can probably tell I have the patience of a 2 year old.
This afternoon, I received a phone call from Make A Wish! Jenny (a coordinater) confirmed that we are now officially booked for Isabella's Make A Wish trip to Disneyworld!
Can you feel the excitement? So here are our *official* dates/times for Bella's Wish Trip.
Leave Milwaukee Thursday, December 3 at 7:30am
Arrive in Orlando at 11:05am
We will be staying at Give Kids the World Village from December 3-9. We decided to extend our stay by 3 days to hang out with DH's brother, TJ who lives in Orlando (he's an animator at EA Games - nice job, eh?). On Dec 9th, we'll check out of GKTW and either stay with TJ or try to find an inexpensive hotel from the 9th-12th.
Saturday, December 12th at 11:30am from Orlando
Arrive Home at 1:25 pm in Milwaukee
There are so many details that I need to figure out yet and I'm hoping to use the expertise of my DIS Boards friends to help me!
Is there an accurate (and preferably free) crowd schedule?
When does Disney release their park hours?
Where should we stay for our additional 3 nights?
What activities should we plan?
We've never been to Universal Studios or Sea World before but both parks are included in our GKTW package? I hope it's okay if I ask questions about these non-Disney parks.
I'm sure there will be many more questions and lots of details that I'll need to address but for now, the planning has officially begun! Just 5 months and 3 days until Bella's Wish Comes True!
CHAPTER 5 - THE RACING SAUSAGES MEET MICKEY MOUSE
Yeah for dates, and what could be more magical than Disney at Christmas time.:love:
My son is also on Creon, unfortunatly his test for Cystic Fibrosis came back positive.:sad2: I am hoping that Bella will be able to be taken off the enzymes or at least wont have to take so much in the near future. Liam is currently taking 2 Creon 10's with every meal and 1 with snacks. It's a bit of a pain, but you learn to get used to it and and always have a bottle of pills in your purse in case you stop somewhere for a snack. FYI- I got advice from someone who told me that their enzymes got wet while they were in the park and therfore ruined, I am going to make sure his are in a water tight container.:scared1:
I also see that you are in Wisconsin. I am at the northern end of Illinios, about a half an hour from Kenosha. Have you guys ever done the Renaissance Faire? I have been part of the cast there (took off last couple of years because of kids) and am going to be there part time on Sundays. It is my understanding that I am able to get discount tickets for $10, so it you want to go let me know and we'll work something out.:hug:
Can't wait to hear more!!!!!:dance3:
By the way I am just loving your PTR and your style of layouts. So creative!!!:thumbsup2
Love the pictures!! Such darling Princesses! Wow mom - I'm in awe! PTO, School Board, and mom to 3 girls!! :goodvibes
(and :wave: also near the IL northern border!! Neighbors!!)
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