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Old 06-04-2009, 08:50 PM   #1
ahkeela
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Azaria's Make A Wish Trip, October 2009

Azaria's Make A Wish Trip-Take II
(I had started a pre-trip report before, Azaria's trip was originally scheduled for May 2009 but was rescheduled to October. I tried to update the old trip report but wasn't able to update it for some reason. So here is take two.)

Azaria is 6 years old, and her wish is to be a princess at DisneyWorld! She was granted a wish from the Make A Wish organization last summer but scheduling the trip has been a bit difficult. The trip is now scheduled for October 20-28th. Azaria's birthday is October 26th, so we are very confident that we will make the trip this time!

A little about Azaria and our family: Azaria was born with Aicardi Syndrome, an extremely rare neurological disorder that is only found in females, and includes absence of the center part of her brain, retinal lesions causing blindness, daily seizures, and developmental delays (among other things). Azaria has seizures every day, at the most she had over 100 seizures a day when she was 9 months old. Now, she only has 3 or 4 mild seizures a day, and about once a month, she has a very big seizure that requires emergency medical intervention. When she was born, the doctors said "take her home and enjoy her while you can", life expectancy is 5-7 years. We were also told that she would never walk, or talk, or sit unassisted.

Given all this, Azaria has done tremendously well and has been such a joy in our lives. She is quite aware of her surroundings, communicates her likes and dislikes, she is legally blind but you would never know it and she is so brave through her daily seizures and struggles. One thing that should be on the "list" of Aicardi Syndrome is just how angelic these girls are. Azaria is so sweet and is always so happy and content. She even smiles right after some of her hardest seizures, as if to say "don't worry Mom and Dad, everything is ok."

The rest of the family includes, my husband TJ, our oldest son Christopher (21) who lives near San Francisco, and our youngest son Aidan (5), and me.

We are all really looking forward to this Make A Wish trip for Azaria and want to make the most of it for her, she so deserves it!

Thanks for reading, I look forward to the trip planning part of this and am open to any advice and suggestions!

Debi
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:33 PM   #2
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First one! Woo Hoo!

I just read your post on the Wish Trippers thread. I'm sorry for all you have gone through lately. Azaria sounds like a realy princess. How exciting to go on her birthday! Can't wait to hear more.

Who is her favorite character?
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:27 AM   #3
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Woo Hoo!!!

I found your old link...because I had subscribed for all of your updates.

Here it is...if you want to refer to it or get any pics from it, etc.

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2150948

I am in over here, too!!
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:30 AM   #4
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Are you guys extending?

I can't keep everyone straight...but I was thinking you guys were going to extend a day before and a day after your GKTW stay...maybe this time, if possible, it would be easier to extend after your GKTW stay so you don't have to worry about rescheduling orientation or losing that first day to logistics and have no park tickets. Just a random thought from Maroo!
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Old 06-06-2009, 11:00 PM   #5
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Azaria's favorite Disney character

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eeyores Butterfly View Post
First one! Woo Hoo!

Who is her favorite character?
Hi!
Azaria's favorite character is Snow White. The back story on that is when Azaria was about a year old, we took her to Disneyland. Azaria was pretty medicated during that time on heavy doses of anti convulsants but my husband and I really wanted to take her to Disneyland because of all she was going through. At California Adventure, we waited in a long line to see the Disney Princesses, I believe Belle, Snow White and Mulan where there. We took pictures with Belle, I was holding Azaria, and when we got to Snow White, she kneeled down, spread her dress out and sat on the floor. She then asked if she could hold Azaria! I was floored! I didn't think the characters where allowed to do that (don't know if they are or not, just didn't think that was something they would be allowed to do because of liability stuff). I was very moved that she would even offer. As I handed her Azaria I began explaining how she had poor neck control, and low muscle tone, she just smiled and said hello to Azaria. At that point it was like Azaria came out of a haze, looked at Snow White and smiled. Of course I cried and even my husband got choked up and teary eyed. Since then, it has been all about Snow White. I have to go and look for the picture, it's on my husbands computer but when I find it I will post it here. Thanks for asking, I love telling and remembering that story.
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Old 06-06-2009, 11:01 PM   #6
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Azaria's favorite Disney character

Deleted text, I accidentally posted twice, oops!

Last edited by ahkeela; 06-06-2009 at 11:16 PM. Reason: double post
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:41 PM   #7
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Can't wait to follow your planning, I know your princess will have a magical time at WDW, especially for her birthday. How wonderful!!
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Old 07-03-2009, 09:42 PM   #8
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What a sweet story about her meeting with Snow White. I hope Azaria's birthday at Disney is just as magical. Isn't it fun to plan? I love the escape that planning gives me. We don't have dates for my son's trip yet, but it will be sometime this fall. Azaria sounds like a joy.
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Old 07-03-2009, 11:18 PM   #9
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Technically characters aren't allowed to hold kids, but we get away with it by kneeling down. That is considered acceptable, particularly if the child is seated on the character's knee or on the floor. Not encouraged, but doable.

That sounds like such a neat experience, any way to share the pic on here?

Is your oldest son going to get to go with you? I don't know what the MAW rules are in yoru area. I can't wait to hear more about your plans! You'll have to do a princess dinner for sure.
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:03 PM   #10
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Oh, I can't wait to read more!!!! Your daughter sounds so sweet! Snow White is one of my favorite characters too! That's just even better!
The Snow White story made me cry! Seriously.... that was very moving that she smiled at her!
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Old 07-14-2009, 05:06 PM   #11
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Oh my! Your story about Snow White touched my heart. What a precious moment!!!.: Can not wait to hear more of the magic yet to come.
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Old 10-19-2009, 05:46 AM   #12
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WOW! Just 4 days left!

The excitement is building!!! We just had Azaria's 7th Birthday/Make A Wish Send Off Party this weekend. It went well, she loved her cake and loved seeing everyone who came to her party. We asked that instead of gifts, that donations be made to Make A Wish. We received many cards with donations to MAW, and we are excited we will be able to give back a little!

So we leave in just 4 days! I have started a very loose itinerary. I am trying not to panic about not having any plans or schedules, I will work on it more this week. But I have so much to pack and do before we go!! I just want this to be perfect for Azaria! She deserves so much for all she has been through. And sadly, when we get back she will have to go through even more, she will be admitted to ICU for surgery. But I don't want to think about that now, just want to make this trip the best ever for her! Nothing but smiles, giggles and joy!!

Any suggestions, tips and ideas are welcome!! I still need to book a hotel since we are extending our trip by a couple of days. We'd like to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge, but I need to check on prices, etc. If not there I am also looking at the Port Orleans.

I'll post the schedule I have so far, it still needs some work but it's coming along.

Here's a couple of photos:
Birthday Cake:

At Pumpkin Patch:

Party picture:



Thanks, Debi
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Old 10-19-2009, 06:55 AM   #13
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So glad you guys are getting to go on your trip! I'm sure whether or not you get things as planned out as you'd like to you'll have a wonderful time, so try not to stress out too much about it, just relax and enjoy the ride And I'm with the contingency that wants to see the picture of Azaria with Snow White, Azaria is such a cutie!
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:18 PM   #14
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Commencing Countdown...5...4...

Whoo Hoo! So excited and anxiously sitting here with the kids, Azaria's Wish Coordinator is coming over at 10:30am to drop off our "stuff". Can't wait to see her and what she has in store for the kids! I'm also very excited to give her a check from the donations we collected for Make A Wish at Azaria's Birthday Party !
She should be here in a few minutes...will post some pictures of the kids with her later! In the meantime I want to share the invitation I made for Azaria's party...



(editing to remove the last invitation, it has a lot of personal info on it-address, phone, etc.)

Last edited by ahkeela; 10-19-2009 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 10-20-2009, 04:15 PM   #15
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Made some plans/itinerary!

Thank you maroo for your help! Sorry it was so last minute...thank you so much for your time!!

So here it is, I would appreciate any input or suggestions!

Friday October 23rd
10:30 am Leave Home to Fresno Airport, connect in Dallas, arrive Orlando around 11pm
12 am Arrive at Give Kids the World, eat, and go to bed!

Saturday October 24th
8:00 (5am our time) Wake Up, get ready to go to orientation
9:00 orientation/kids get breakfast
10:00 after orientation, back to room and get everyone ready for day
Eat lunch at GKTW
1-4pm: nap, rest or explore GKTW (do any shopping if necessary)
Dinner at GKTW
7:45-8:30 GKTW-Mayors Birthday Party

Sunday, October 25th
Wake up, get kids ready
8am: Breakfast @ GKTW
Universal (9-5pm or IOA 9-7pm)
1pm-4pm Steelers vs.Vikings (watch game at Universal City Walk-NBA City reservations done-Brianna)
GKTW: Candy Land game

Monday October 26th Azaria's Birthday!
up early
Breakfast @ GKTW
(Disney Characters @ GKTW 8am-9am)
Magic Kingdom (9-9pm) (extra magic hours 9pm-12am)
(Azaria gets “free entry” for her birthday=gift card)
eat lunch @ Cinderella's Royal Table or ? (no reservation-need backup)
Bibbibidi Bobbidi Boutique @ Cinderella Castle for Azaria 12:30 (reservation done)
3:00 Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade
eat dinner @ ?
8:00 SpectroMagic Parade
9:00 Wishes Nighttime Spectacular
(Faerie's M&G, Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Stitches Great Escape, Mickeys PhilharMagic, Princess Tiana M&G and Showboat Jubilee, Pirate Tutorial)
LATE Night!

Tuesday October 27th
Up early
Breakfast @ GKTW
Nickelodeon Character Photos (8:30-9:15)
Universal Studios/Island of Adventure Day #2 (9-6)
(Rides: Jimmy Neutrons Blast,The Simpsons Ride, Spiderman, Hulk)
or Kennedy Space Center Rocket Launch today
Back to GKTW put on costumes
Eat Dinner @ GKTW
Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween (7pm-12am)

Wednesday October 28th
Up early, eat breakfast at GKTW
Seaworld (9-7pm)
Dine with Shamu (12:30) Believe (3:30 or 6pm)

Thursday, October 29th

check out day :
Eat breakfast and/or lunch @ GKTW
Disney Characters @ GKTW
Move to Animal Kingdom Resort
Hang out at hotel, Downtown Disney, or rest
Back to GKTW for Christmas Night (6:30-8:30pm)

Friday, October 30th
up, get ready
Eat breakfast at ?
Animal Kingdom (9-5pm/5pm-8pm extra magic hours)

Saturday October 31st
Hollywood Studios (9-7:30pm/extra magic hours 8am-9am)
(HS: toy story mania, rock n roller coaster, lights motor action!, Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, Star Wars Jedi Training)
Epcot (9-9pm)
(Epcot: test track, soarin', mission space, 2 wish lounges, the seas with nemo-turtle talk, aquarium, IllumiNations @ night)

Sunday November1st

up early
check out of hotel
arrive at airport, fly home

Depart Sunday 11/1 @ 12:50pm Arrive LAX @ 3:10pm
Depart LAX @ 6:30pm Arrive Fresno @ 7:30pm
Limo brings us home
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