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Old 04-23-2010, 02:06 PM   #1
NVDadof3
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Reno, NV
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Seth's Make-A-Wish trip May 19-25 2010

Hello to everyone. I have waited to start this until now because we were not sure when or if this trip was going to happen. The last few days things have really started to come together though, so I think it's safe to start now.

My name is Gary, my wife is Jessica. We are both 32 years old. We have 3 children. Seth (wish kid) is 8 years old, Alexis will be 7 years old on Monday, and our youngest Claire will turn 3 years old on May 19th, which is the date we are scheduled to leave to Disney. None of us have ever been to DisneyWorld so we are all very excited about this trip, and looking forward to it.



Seth was an extremely healthy 7 year old kid. He hardly ever got sick in even the smallest way. His sisters would get nasty colds and it would pass right by him. This was until Late May 2009. Seth starting having migraine headaches and started feeling sick to his stomach. It was not a constant thing, as the symptoms would come and go. Some days he would go to school and be ok, other days he would wake up and feel too sick. He would lay in the dark in his room because it helped his headaches. My wife and I had no idea what could be bothering him. We thought of tons of possibilities including something bothering him at school causing him stress. After about a week of this we took him to the ER. The Doctor there told us that Seth looked fine and that the nausea and headaches should pass in a few days. He told us to bring Seth back after two weeks if they did not go away. After 3 more days of this, we took him back. June 5th, 2009. I'm sure everyone who has a sick child has a moment they can point to when they knew their life would never be the same. That evening in the ER, the doctor took Seth for a CT Scan. The doctor walked by our room and told me and my wife he needed to speak with us outside. That was our moment. We had no idea what it was at this point, but we knew it was something very bad.

Seth had a mass of liquid show up on his CT scan and subsequent MRI. That night they flew him from Reno to Childrens Hospital Oakland. The following day we spoke with the Neurosurgeon who told us that Seth had a tumor and an accompying mass of liquid the size of an egg. They did surgery the following monday to remove it. The surgery was a fabulous success, and Seth recovered and was back home in Reno a week later. It was about two weeks later that we got the next call that changed everything. The tests came back that the tumor was malignant and they expect it to grow back. They wanted to get him back to Oakland and insert a broviac and start him on chemo. His was taking chemo from July through January when he had a stem cell transplant. My wife and I lived in Oakland from January until March while my daughters stayed with my mother. It was very difficult on all of us, and our 3 year old Claire has still not forgiven us for leaving her for 2 months.

Since March, Seth has been back home and doing his radiation treatment. His final radiation was yesterday, and we also got confirmation yesterday from MAW that we will be going. She gave us tentative dates of May 19-25th. She said she will be booking the flights in the next couple of days and will let us know as soon as she does. We will be staying at Give Kids The World. We have no idea what we will be doing and the ideas and stories I have read on here have been of great help. Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences, and I will post more in the next day or two once my wife and I have a chance to sit down and think about it.

Couple of questions if someone doesn't mind helping.

1. We are worried about expense money. We know that MAW will give us money for expenses but we don't know how much and were hoping someone could give us some insight as to whether we will need to have money of our own or whether what they give you is enough.

2. We are wondering about the tickets. We have heard that you get 3 days worth of tickets to DW, 2 days worth to Universal and 1 day to Sea World. Is this true. If so, are the Disney tickets park hoppers or is it one park per ticket? Any help would be appreciated.

3. Should we start planning things like dining in advance, or would it be better to just find what we want to eat while we are there? I know GKTW provides meals free of charge, but we won't be eating there every meal.

I'm sure I have a thousand more questions, but that's all that comes to mind right now. Thanks for any help and advice.

Gary

Last edited by NVDadof3; 04-24-2010 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 04-23-2010, 03:45 PM   #2
casper_jj11
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Have you checked out the Wish forum under the DisAbilities section? We're planning our trip now and everyone there has been a wonderful help. We're going with a different organization and we're staying onsite at Disney so my information may be different but I'll try to help.

As for expenses, I think it really depends on the group sending you. It seems that each MAW organization provides a different amount of expenses.

For tickets, I've heard the same as you. I believe the tix provided for Disney are complementary tickets for wish children. They cover 3 days entry and they are park hoppers.

As for reservations, if you plan to eat in Disney restaurants, definitely book asap. If its part of the wish, the organization may try and book something but otherwise, I don't think so (although some people have said their group booked one meal as a surprise). ADRs fill early so if you really want something, plan where you'll be each day (trying to avoid the parks on the busiest days, not so much for lines but just overall crowds) and then book the restaurants you'd like to eat in. This late in the planning, many of the popular ones will be booked but keep trying because people cancel all the time.

We've been several times with the kids so any questions, I'd be happy to try and help.
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:17 PM   #3
NVDadof3
Earning My Ears
 
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Thanks for the help. I have been to the Wish board and the advice is extremely helpful. The information about the tickets helps a lot in the planning.

Thanks
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Me, Jessica, Seth 8, Alexis 7, Claire 3

Seth's Make-A-Wish PTR May 19-25, 2010-http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2450696
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:33 PM   #4
pacrosby
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Hi Gary and Welcome...

Make sure you introduce yourself on the Wish Trippers' Unite thread so that folks can come and follow your PTR. That's sort of the 'meeting place' if you will

We've already been on our Wish trip but I still hang around to help when I can while I (continue to) work on our Trip Report and plan for an upcoming trip (which is actually NEXT WEEK )

Look forward to getting to know you and your family
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Old 04-23-2010, 10:26 PM   #5
jessica52877
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What lovely kids! Wish I was reading your pre-trip report for a different reason other than a wish trip. Hope Seth is doing well now!
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Old 04-24-2010, 02:19 AM   #6
NVDadof3
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Seth is doing great. If not for his scar and his hair loss, you would not know anything was ever wrong with him. During his chemo treatment, there were some rough times, but since his stem cell transplant in January he has recovered remarkably well. He may get his broviac out before we go and he almost certainly will be able to go back to school in August when the new year starts. After being out for his entire 2nd grade year, he is looking forward to returning. We can't wait for him to feel like a normal little boy again. DisneyWorld is going to cap off a horrible year for him as well as his sisters. We are all so excited to go on this trip. My wife and I are going crazy just looking at all the different possibilities. No matter how uncertain the future may be, we know that at least for a week, we don't have to think about any of that.
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Me, Jessica, Seth 8, Alexis 7, Claire 3

Seth's Make-A-Wish PTR May 19-25, 2010-http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2450696
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Old 04-24-2010, 04:43 PM   #7
NVDadof3
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We have made an early plan based on the dates we have been given. I'd really like to get this stuff finalized since it is coming up pretty soon. It's also pretty hard to plan anything in depth until we know for sure. We've thrown around a couple of ideas, but as of now this is what we are looking at.

May 19th-Arrival at GKTW

May 20th-Magic Kingdom-This is the most important part of the trip for the kids and a lot of the attractions they want to see are here. We may come back for half a day later in the week if we don't get to see everything we want.

May 21st-Universal/IOA-From what I've read on here and heard we can hopefully get both these parks in on one day. The kids are not as interested in Universal as they are Disney.

May 22nd-Take a day off from the parks-We may drive over to the ocean or find some things to do in Orlando. We are thinking of having dinner at Medieval Times on this night as this is something Seth really wants to do.

May 23rd-Disney Hollywood Studios-This is another park that the kids are really interested in.

May 24th-Animal Kingdom/Magic Kingdom-We will go to the Animal Kingdom this day as Seth wants to see the Tree Of Life and explore the Jungle Trails. The afternoon/evening we will probably end our time at MK.

May 25th-Depending on flight times, we will spend this day at GKTW enjoying our time.

I will update this as we look more and make more specific decisions. Hopefully we can get solid confirmation of the dates on monday.
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Me, Jessica, Seth 8, Alexis 7, Claire 3

Seth's Make-A-Wish PTR May 19-25, 2010-http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2450696
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Old 04-24-2010, 04:56 PM   #8
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sounds like it will be a wonderful trip and a great memory. My cousin had cancer awhile ago and it has come back again. They decided to take a trip for their spring break just to get away from the doctor's visits and bills and just enjoy their time together and they said it was just wonderful to go to gulf shores and spend all the time together on the beach.

can't wait to hear more about your trip!
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Old 04-24-2010, 09:37 PM   #9
NVDadof3
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None of us have ever been to Florida, so we are thinking one day to explore a new place might be fun. It will also give us a break mid week and hopefully give our legs a rest. This weekend is killing us waiting to hear back about our dates. MAW is also planning a party for Seth before we go, but we don't have a lot of time to think about that either. I hope everything comes together. The kids at this point are more excited about GKTW then the theme parks. Seth is praying that we go during one of the Star Wars weekends. Lexi is dying to meet Tinkerbell and all of the other fairies and princesses, and Claire just wants to see Mickey Mouse.

24 more days (hopefully)
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Me, Jessica, Seth 8, Alexis 7, Claire 3

Seth's Make-A-Wish PTR May 19-25, 2010-http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2450696
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:31 AM   #10
NVDadof3
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We should find out for sure tomorrow if we are going on those dates. I don't see any reason why we shouldn't but it will be nice to find out for sure.
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Me, Jessica, Seth 8, Alexis 7, Claire 3

Seth's Make-A-Wish PTR May 19-25, 2010-http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2450696
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:42 AM   #11
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Hello! I just found your pre-trip report!

Would you like me to list it with the other Wish Trip Pre-Trip Reports and Trip Reports?

The link to that thread is in blue on my signature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NVDadof3 View Post
We have made an early plan based on the dates we have been given. I'd really like to get this stuff finalized since it is coming up pretty soon. It's also pretty hard to plan anything in depth until we know for sure. We've thrown around a couple of ideas, but as of now this is what we are looking at.

May 19th-Arrival at GKTW

I love that this is your main plan for the day! GKTW is a wonderful place and you guys will have a blast there!

May 20th-Magic Kingdom-This is the most important part of the trip for the kids and a lot of the attractions they want to see are here. We may come back for half a day later in the week if we don't get to see everything we want.

This is a Thursday and Thursday nights are usually Christmas at GKTW - This is one of the favorite parties at GKTW for some of the families that have gone in the past. I know MK is a big park - but wanted you to be aware of the GKTW Christmas Party.

May 21st-Universal/IOA-From what I've read on here and heard we can hopefully get both these parks in on one day. The kids are not as interested in Universal as they are Disney.

I definitely think you can knock these out in a day! You may want to consider swapping the first two days?? That way you could knock out Universal and catch the Christmas party. Universal may be more exciting for you guys if you don't have Disney to compare it to?? Just an idea. I have never even been to Universal - but going from the recent TR's from wish trippers, this may be something you guys would want to consider. Regardless...you will have a GREAT time!!

May 22nd-Take a day off from the parks-We may drive over to the ocean or find some things to do in Orlando. We are thinking of having dinner at Medieval Times on this night as this is something Seth really wants to do.

This sounds wonderful! Great for a break from the parks!

May 23rd-Disney Hollywood Studios-This is another park that the kids are really interested in.

We had a blast at this park on Lauren's wish trip!

May 24th-Animal Kingdom/Magic Kingdom-We will go to the Animal Kingdom this day as Seth wants to see the Tree Of Life and explore the Jungle Trails. The afternoon/evening we will probably end our time at MK.

May 25th-Depending on flight times, we will spend this day at GKTW enjoying our time.

I will update this as we look more and make more specific decisions. Hopefully we can get solid confirmation of the dates on monday.
I hope you get solid confirmation on dates! I hope you don't mind my suggestions above.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:35 AM   #12
jessica52877
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I hope you find out for sure soon. I can't imagine leaving so quickly but not really knowing yet.

Make sure you have some rest time built in to your trip! We love to just rest and explore little things on our trip, the hotel usually, so GKTW will be more then perfect! It really make the trip alot more relaxing!
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:39 PM   #13
NVDadof3
Earning My Ears
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maroo View Post
Hello! I just found your pre-trip report!

Would you like me to list it with the other Wish Trip Pre-Trip Reports and Trip Reports?

The link to that thread is in blue on my signature.



I hope you get solid confirmation on dates! I hope you don't mind my suggestions above.

Yes, it would be great if you linked it to the others. As far as your suggestions, most of them we have already considered. After writing that general outline up we learned about the Thursday night Christmas party. I also looked at park hours, so we may change a couple of dates based on that.

I spoke to the MAW coordinator today and she said she is waiting for final budget confirmation and once she gets that she will call us and book flights. She said she expects it today or tomorrow. She also told us about the party they are planning on having for Seth. They are looking into having a party at his school, which would be great. He hasn't had much interaction with his friends since this started so I can't think of anything better.
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Me, Jessica, Seth 8, Alexis 7, Claire 3

Seth's Make-A-Wish PTR May 19-25, 2010-http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2450696
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:42 PM   #14
NVDadof3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessica52877 View Post
I hope you find out for sure soon. I can't imagine leaving so quickly but not really knowing yet.

Make sure you have some rest time built in to your trip! We love to just rest and explore little things on our trip, the hotel usually, so GKTW will be more then perfect! It really make the trip alot more relaxing!
Yeah, it's difficult having so little time but exciting as well. After the last few days I can't imagine having to find out and then wait months before you go. The rest day is mom and dad's idea, and we haven't ran the idea across to the kids yet. That may be a tough sell.
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Seth's Make-A-Wish PTR May 19-25, 2010-http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2450696
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Old 04-26-2010, 01:56 PM   #15
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Hi Gary,
I am so excited for your family!! This trip is truly magical and it is so exciting to be planning for it. I completely forgot why I did not do the trip report on our trip this December on this board..but I do have it on my daughter's site if you want to visit it...it was beyond magical.

http://cotaforsavannaha.com/node/842 Here is the link to the actual "Wish" but this was only one of many highlights...enjoy every minute of it!!!
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