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Old 03-23-2011, 11:49 PM   #1
mawmay2011
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Brooke's MAW May 2-9, 2011 - GKTW

Hello. I just found this forum today and we are leaving in only 41 days for Disney World!!

I'm really not sure where to start with our pre-trip report...we haven't planned much yet. First, let me start with our story...

My husband and I met in college and have been married for 13 years. A little over 7 years ago we welcomed our first child, Brooke into our lives. 19 months later, our son, Braeden was born, and then three years later, we welcomed another daughter, Brynleigh.

Brooke began Kindergarten in the fall of 2009 and that winter had come down with pneumonia. A few months later she was looking pale, had some unexplained bruises and we noticed her cough was back. I took her into her pediatrician on a Friday afternoon, picking her up a few minutes early from school to have her checked out. The pediatrician thought her pneumonia might be back, but wanted to check her platelets because of her bruising. That night at 7 PM, we received a call from our doctor saying that there was not just a problem with her platelets..."it's leukemia." I think my heart stopped. We were at my nephew's family birthday celebration and it was all we could do to listen to our pediatrician instruct us to get to the hospital as soon as possible and plan on staying at the hospital for about two weeks. How was this happening to us?

In the next few weeks, we learned more than we ever wanted to know about childhood cancer, leukemia, and living in the hospital. The oncologist confirmed Brooke's leukemia, she had a port placed and began receiving intense chemotherapy right away, which lasted about 6 months. In August of 2009, she began a year and a half of maintenance chemotherapy. She is just shy of 3 weeks from finishing up her maintenance chemotherapy!! We can hardly believe that this day has come.

On the one year anniversary of her diagnosis, I created this youtube video of her first year of treatment...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcE5EIy5qGY

Shortly after Brooke was diagnosed, she was granted a wish through the Make A Wish Foundation, but we asked to hold off on making her wish reality until she was finished with her chemotherapy. I began making the phone calls this last fall to see if we could get Brooke's wish to Disney in motion and we asked if she could go a few days before her birthday so she will be able to celebrate her 8th birthday in the park!

We are getting very excited - the last time I went to Disney and Epcot was when I was in 7th grade. My husband has never been and of course, this is a first time for the kids too. The last two years have been very difficult for us - we have experienced insurance changes, job changes, life changes and our kids are growing up before our eyes. Through the Grace of God, we have made it through this incredible journey...and yet, we find that we still aren't there quite yet.

Brooke has spent 9 days this month in the hospital - she is doing better now, but was fighting off a cold, MRSA staph infection, and a bronchial respiratory virus...her little body was having difficult time getting over everything, but thankfully she is feeling better and getting stronger every day. She will go back to the doctor next week to see if her blood counts are high enough to have her last dose of chemo in her spinal fluid and her last dose of chemo in her port, then she will take chemo pills nightly until April 13th, have a bone marrow biopsy and check her spinal fluid on April 14th and she will officially be off therapy!!

We have not planned a lot for our trip yet and would welcome any suggestions about how we can do special things for Brooke (she would really like to see about getting to ride in one of the parades...preferably with Sleeping Beauty, her favorite princess) while we are on our trip. She has more than earned her special time and we are really looking forward to a great vacation as a family for the first time since we took a short trip to Galveston just after she started her maintenance chemotherapy in August 2009. Thank you for your help and I will keep you updated on our plans!

The only firm plans we have so far is that I have scheduled a lunch at Akershus in Norway at Epcot on May 4th and I have scheduled an appointment for all the kids to go to the Bibiddi Bobiddi Boutique on the day of her birthday.

We are getting very excited about the trip, but realize that we have a lot to plan in a short amount of time! Thanks for looking at our pre-trip plan!!

Best,
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Old 03-23-2011, 11:54 PM   #2
blessedmom4
WE BELIEVE IN MIRACLES! ~~Nearly twice as many children die from Congenital Heart Defects in the U.S. each year as die from all forms of childhood cancers combined.
 
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JILL to the DIS!!!

on Brooke's Wish Trip!!! What a wonderful time you are all going to have!!! Let us know if we can answer any questions.
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:54 AM   #3
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So glad Brooke is getting a wish trip.
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Etsy ID: ChiarasCouture2014 here we come... WDW, a cruise, F&G and more!!! Why don't we make this trip report about 2012 & 2013.
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:51 AM   #4
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Welcome!!! I find that this forum is very helpful and will ask any question that you may have. I hope your trip is magical and that it is a nice break from reality.
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:55 AM   #5
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WOW.. your story is amazing. i can't even imagine how hard this past year was.. I will be in WDW the same that you are.. I hope that I run in to you so that I can say " Way to go" to Brooke..
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:12 AM   #6
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Welcome to Dis
So glad Brooke is getting a wish
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:15 AM   #7
angeque143
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WELCOME!!! Brooke has certainly been through a lot!! What a brave trooper you have!!

Congrats on your trip!!
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:33 AM   #8
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:13 PM   #9
mawmay2011
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Thank you all so much! Since this is our first trip to Disney...is there any particular advice that you all can give us?

Thanks!
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:23 PM   #10
tinytreasures
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mawmay2011 View Post
Thank you all so much! Since this is our first trip to Disney...is there any particular advice that you all can give us?

Thanks!
Don't try to "See" everything.
Take time to enjoy GKTW you will never get to stay there again.
Stop and smell the roses.
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:21 AM   #11
VBAndrea
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Welcome! What a beautiful family you have. I LOVED your video though I must say I went through quite a few tissues. Brooke looks like she always keeps a smile on her face I hope she has a very healthy, magical wish trip.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:48 PM   #12
blessedmom4
WE BELIEVE IN MIRACLES! ~~Nearly twice as many children die from Congenital Heart Defects in the U.S. each year as die from all forms of childhood cancers combined.
 
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Stopped by to say...

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Old 04-04-2011, 09:11 PM   #13
LindaBabe


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Princess Brooke might want to check the mail box along about Thursday . . .
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:05 PM   #14
Tonyababyrn
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Welcome!



Congrats on the trip!!!
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:35 PM   #15
blessedmom4
WE BELIEVE IN MIRACLES! ~~Nearly twice as many children die from Congenital Heart Defects in the U.S. each year as die from all forms of childhood cancers combined.
 
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Not sure if you are still around but....

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