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Old 05-12-2011, 01:01 AM   #1
mysevendwarfs
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The Many Adventures of Bridgie the Boo Wish Trip -GKTW 6/27-7/3/11 PTR

We just found out Friday that our DD Bridgie is confirmed to go to Give Kids the World on her wish trip!!! We are all thrilled as she loves Disney. I have been a long time lurker (2001 with a different account) and a rare poster on the forums. I love DIS as it has been such a great resource for our family and everyone is so helpful and friendly.

We will be going to Give Kids The World on June 27-July 3. We were so thrilled that our wish organization, Rainbow Connection, is allowing our whole family to accompany her. Our family consists of our 7 children, my husband and me. The illness of a family member takes a toll on the whole family. It has been a difficult two years, but one filled with joys and miracles as well. We are all looking forward to much needed fun time together as a family. We feel so blessed to be able to enjoy this along with our little girl.

Bridget is 10 years old and just about one of the sweetest kids you will ever meet. She suffers from a brain tumor and has been through an amazing journey since her onset of symptoms two years ago. I promise to post more about her journey in my next post.

This will be my first trip report and I admit I have no idea what I am doing Thanks for joining us on our journey!
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Disneyland - '73
WDW '76, '78, '79 Contemporary, '92 Grand Floridian, Disneyland '93, WDW off-site '95
DVC in '01 BWV, '04 BCV, BWV '07, HHI -'09, HHI-'10, AK '10

The Many Adventures of Bridgie the Boo Wish Trip -GKTW 6/27-7/3/11 PTR


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Old 05-15-2011, 12:27 AM   #2
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A little about our wish kid..




Almost exactly two years ago this week, Bridget came home from school with what we thought was a stomach bug. It quickly became clear it was much more than that as she was very confused about basic facts and actions. She couldn’t remember her name and how to turn on a light switch. After a weekend in the hospital for what the doctors believed was encephalitis, she was much better and life resumed. Something just wasn’t right though and both her dad and I had an uneasy feeling about how she was doing. We took her back to the dr., but they could find nothing concerning.

One day in June all that changed. Bridget woke up and couldn’t perform basic functions (she had two legs in one pant leg), fell down and thought her left shoe wasn’t on. She was very slurry and couldn’t swallow. They did a cat-scan and I could tell the dr. was immediately concerned. Long story, but they eventually found out she was having silent seizures. She could be playing cards even while she was seizing and you would never know. We spent over two weeks in ICU and on the floor while they tried to determined the cause. A brain biopsy did not show any cancer. Seven months later after multiple hospitalizations, continued major neurological problems, including a shunt surgery for hydrocephalus, the doctors did a second brain biopsy. This one showed an extremely rare presentation of oligodendroglioma brain tumor cells in her meninges. It was inoperable as it was not a mass, but cells they thought were only in the meninges.

Bridget started chemotherapy in Dec. ’09, five days after her sister was born. She has had a few major scares, but our Bridget is a fighter. The tumor cells have caused her to developed a chiari twice which put pressure on her brain stem. She was scheduled for surgery in January of 2010 as she couldn’t walk without assistance and her speech was very slurred. We had so many people offering prayers for her. The morning before surgery she came downstairs by herself and practically ran through the kitchen. Needless to say I called the neurosurgeon right away. The neurosurgeon said he couldn’t believe the MRI was the same child from the week before and he couldn’t explain why. I know it was an answer to prayer. God was with us and she has continued to surprise everyone.

While the chemo seemed to be improving her condition, we had a few other major scares. The seizures returned last summer. We were on our way home from WDW and stopped to spend some time with family in West Virginia where she ended up convulsive seizure. It was the scariest moments of my entire life. We had a two hour drive as they have only room for the patient and medical personnel, but the amazing thing was that my husband’s flight to meet us for the weekend was landing within moments of Bridget’s arrival. He arrived at the hospital before they would even let him into the ICU! One of the reasons she is so excited for Disney is that the seizures erased some of the most special moments at Disney.
Bridget continued to have seizures and more neurological difficulties. Since Bridget’s MRI showed an increase in the cystic areas, her doctors once again decided that a chiari surgery was reduce the pressure and fluid on the spine and in the brain. The surgery was on Dec. 20 and did not go as planned. Bridget after surgery was in very serious condition in the ICU, as the surgery resulted in a shift that put increased pressure on the brain. She lost her ability to swallow, talk and was on a breathing tube. Her physicians did not give us much hope and encouraged us to enroll in hospice. The doctors thought if she left the hospital at all it would be with a trach and that it was just a matter of time. The doctor met us on Christmas night to confirm this devastating news.

We had so many people praying for her and the Lord really showed us His comfort and peace. We asked everyone to pray for a Christmas miracle. Within days Bridget was sitting up, breathing tube out, and eating a Happy Meal. It was the happiest meal ever!!! She defied everyone’s expectations! She was able to start radiation and chemotherapy which required her to be strapped face down to a table for 45 minutes daily. She earned the title Bridget the Brave from all her friends and family! Since that time her last 3 MRI’s showed improvement. Miracles happen everyday. We know. We have seen them!

Bridget is currently on chemotherapy and has a long journey ahead, but we know God has a plan for her. Our family motto is "every day with joy" We are looking forward to many days of joy at GKTW and WDW. Thanks for sharing our journey
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DH Me (19) (16)(13) (10 Our Wish Kid) (7) (4) (18 months)

Disneyland - '73
WDW '76, '78, '79 Contemporary, '92 Grand Floridian, Disneyland '93, WDW off-site '95
DVC in '01 BWV, '04 BCV, BWV '07, HHI -'09, HHI-'10, AK '10

The Many Adventures of Bridgie the Boo Wish Trip -GKTW 6/27-7/3/11 PTR


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Old 05-15-2011, 06:34 AM   #3
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What a amazing little girl you have. Love that you have a big family too. You are going to love GKTW it is a amazing place.
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:39 AM   #4
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What an amazing little girl you have and how wonderful that she is getting her wish...She is absolutely beautigul!! I look foward to reading more about all of you!!
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:10 AM   #5
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Bridget the Brave--love it. She does sound like a fighter who keeps defying the odds and pushing forward! Keep at it, Bridget!!!

So glad she is getting her wish and the whole family gets to go along for the ride! I'll be tuning in....
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:43 PM   #6
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How fantastic she gets to go and replace memories!! GO BRIDGET!!!!
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:11 PM   #7
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WOW!!! What an amazing miracle!!! God Does have a plan for her!!! Im a believer in the power of prayer too!!!!

So where are the other 6 kiddos???

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Old 05-16-2011, 10:05 PM   #8
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Wow!!!!

What a precious little girl - a scary journey - and an awesome testimony!!

I have linked you guys on the Wish Trippers thread!!

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us!
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:06 PM   #9
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:11 PM   #10
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The cast of The Many Adventures of Bridgie the Boo

Here is the rest of the supporting cast of the Many Adventures of Bridgie the Boo. We are all so excited about her wish trip!

MY SEVEN DWARFS


jpg[/IMG]

DOC- Our 19 year old son, Patrick. He is smart, funny and the leader of the pack. He is great with kids (thank goodness!) and wants to be a doctor. He just finished his first year at Michigan. He is a big Michigan football fan, but we like to remind him Notre Dame raised him and MI just takes his money!



DOPEY- Our 16 year old lovely and very un-dopey daughter, Catherine. She fought the other kids for the “Dopey” dwarf title and being that she made our 7 dwarfs shirts for our last trip “won”. She is a junior honor roll student. Irish dance is her passion!



SNEEZY-Our 13 year old son Danny is in eighth grade. He loves lacrosse, fishing, and is asst. patrol leader of his boy scout troop.




HAPPY-Our “wish kid” Bridget. The Happy name really does fit her. She loves life and is full of fun and always has a smile on her face. She loves zebras, ICarly, Notre Dame, crafts, Kids Kicking Cancer (her martial arts group) and swimming. (She would eat a Happy Meal a day and not much else if we let her!)



GRUMPY-Our 9 year old son, Jack. He really isn’t all that grumpy, but it does fit him more than the others. He has the best laugh in the family and is very creative. He loves soccer!



BASHFUL -Our 4 year old daughter Nora is best described in her own words when I asked her if she wanted to listen to the book on dinosaurs…”I don’t like dinosaurs, I only like princesses and Tinkerbell “ She is in her shy stage and quit all her extra activities because she doesn't want to talk to the teachers/leaders



SLEEPY-Our 17 month daughter, Mary. She is the belle of the ball and center of everyone’s attention. Born in the midst of chaos and stress, she is our ray of sunshine.




MY PRINCE – DH-husband and dad extraordinaire and huge Notre Dame fan. Belle is his favorite princess …lol! This photo was on our 19th Anniversary at DHS.



SNOW WHITE-me, Mom to the clan. I don’t have time for many hobbies as I am busy keeping everyone involved in theirs. I consider myself incredibly blessed to have been married 20 years this June to my best friend and I love being a mom.

Pluto – Our dog Brady, born the day before Mary. I was temporarily insane and brought him home from the school auction. He will not be making the trip!

Thanks for joining us on our journey to the House of the Mouse and GKTW!
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DH Me (19) (16)(13) (10 Our Wish Kid) (7) (4) (18 months)

Disneyland - '73
WDW '76, '78, '79 Contemporary, '92 Grand Floridian, Disneyland '93, WDW off-site '95
DVC in '01 BWV, '04 BCV, BWV '07, HHI -'09, HHI-'10, AK '10

The Many Adventures of Bridgie the Boo Wish Trip -GKTW 6/27-7/3/11 PTR


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Old 05-17-2011, 09:17 PM   #11
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What a stunning family y'all have! I can't wait to read more.
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Old 05-18-2011, 07:37 AM   #12
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What a beautiful clan you have...LOVE the 7 dwarfs!! LOL Cant wait to read more!
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:22 AM   #13
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Thanks for sharing your story! Your family is beautiful. How wonderful that Bridget is getting her wish. You all will have the most amazing time at GKTW and Disney. I can't wait to follow along with your planning!
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:51 AM   #14
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Thank you for sharing your story.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:27 AM   #15
mysevendwarfs
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Thank you so much everyone for the warm welcome!!! Sorry it has taken me so long to post. May is just crazy around here...graduations, final projects, Dr's appointments, Bridget's therapy, etc. I think May is actually busier than the holidays

We are all so excited for our trip. I am a "bit" of a planner when it comes to our Disney trips. Isn't everyone here?!!!! I found that that with a big group having a plan keeps everybody happy and informed. There are fewer disappointments that way! I enjoy the planning even though my family mocks me! My 19 year old said to me the other day "Mom, if you don't finish the grocery list, I am going to take away the Disney boards for one week!!!"

That said, this trip is already proving challenging. We know Bridget needs a lot of sleep and tires easily. Trying to fit in all the fun and enjoy GKTW as well is going to take planning. For those of you who have gone on Wish trips, how much did you plan to hang around the village. It seems like some of the things they have are amazing, ie. Christmas, and I want to be sure Bridget gets to enjoy them. We also, obviously, want to spend time in the parks. My parents took us all to Disney World last year, so there won't be a panic to see everything. As I mentioned, Bridget doesn't remember some of it, so she is particularly excited. Most in our family could go to Disney every month and still be excited!!!!

We have our van confirmation so that is good!!!!Rainbow Connection would have flown us down, but we were worried about Bridget's pressure issues due to her shunts and the weird stuff the cancer is doing. The doctors haven't seen her type of tumor present this way before. We just didn't want anymore variables. Anyway, we thought it would be better to drive. In a lot of ways it is easier with our big group anyway. Packing is a nightmare already, never mind packing for an airplane!!!

We receive our van on June 23, leave June 24 and we return on July 7. It is a much longer trip down there than we have ever done, but we are spending some time on Disney property using my parents DVC points that are due to expire. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!!! I really didn't want to be stressed out to see everything and give Bridgie enough rest time. We have sandwiched the time at GKTW between our DVC stays so that we could just let Bridget rest in the beginning and at the end (and successfully use the points ). We will stay at BWV for 2 nights, then GKTW, then 3 nights at Saratoga Springs. We are paying for our extra days of the rental van. I was so glad they let us extend without difficulty.

Last time we went we rented the Liberty Stroller for Bridget through Orlando Strollers. It is jumbo, but just amazing. She could sleep in it and stay shaded. I knew that we get a voucher for a wheelchair, but I was worried she wouldn't be able to rest comfortably. Well, I called our wish coordinator and they are paying for it They have been just awesome at every step.

I am struggling with how much to actually do at WDW, ie character meals, dinner shows. It is hard to justify knowing we have meals at GKTW. I am thinking we may do a dinner show before GKTW and that is it. We do want to celebrate DS 14th birthday on July 3 as well. He wants to eat at Teppan Edo, but we are trying to convince him to try something else, maybe McDonalds or Taco Bell...lol.

Does anyone know if the Disney park tickets can be used after your days at GKTW are over? If we used 2 days while at GKTW and left the last day for when we were on property, would that work? I know most Disney passes once initiated have to be used in 14 days, just didn't know if GKTW had specific dates on the tix.

Thanks for joining us!!!!!
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DH Me (19) (16)(13) (10 Our Wish Kid) (7) (4) (18 months)

Disneyland - '73
WDW '76, '78, '79 Contemporary, '92 Grand Floridian, Disneyland '93, WDW off-site '95
DVC in '01 BWV, '04 BCV, BWV '07, HHI -'09, HHI-'10, AK '10

The Many Adventures of Bridgie the Boo Wish Trip -GKTW 6/27-7/3/11 PTR


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