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Old 09-12-2011, 10:34 AM   #1
nesser1981
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A Wish for Keira, our Pre Trip Report

Ok, so this was our old PTR and I'd started a new one and asked for this one to be deleted, but they deleted the other one instead. So, I'll update this one again. Its updated now! I think the same information as the first one had.

Sorry for the confusion.

So let me try this all again.

I'm Vanessa, my 6 year old daughter is the one that will be receiving the Make a Wish trip! She has chosen to go to Walt Disney World.

A little background on our family.
I grew up in North Florida, only about 3 hours from Orlando, on the gulf coast. When I was 18 I joined the Air Force, after training in Texas, Arizona and Pensacola I got stationed in Japan. I met my DH there, Sean was also in the service, only he was in the Navy. We spent 3 years in Japan, we got engaged shortly before we left and Sean got out of the Navy. I stated in the Air Force and we moved to Beale AFB in Northern California back in 2003. In April 2004, Sean and I got married. May 2005 Miss Keira arrived. 2006 we moved to my final duty station, Elmendorf AFB, in Anchorage, Alaska. We spent just over 3 years there. Our DS Cooper was born there in February 2008.

I got out of the Air Force in June 2009, after 10 years of service and we moved to Michigan where my DH is from.

March of 2010 we did a quick trip down south to visit some family and take the kids on their very first Disney trip, 1 day to the MK and a breakfast @ Chef Mickey's. Ok, background stuff done. LOL!

During our trip to Florida, Keira had been complaining about her stomach bothering her. We assumed she was constipated. I gave her children's pepto and that seemed to solve the problem. In late March she was still complaining, so we took her to the doctor, he agreed with me and said the same thing, but to bring her back in 2 weeks if she was still complaining.

2 weeks later I noticed her stomach was very swollen while I was changing her clothes, so we took her to the doctor again. This time they sent us for a chest x-ray & blood work, if not better by the morning, call back.

Keira didn't sleep that night, so the next morning we called the doctor, take her to the ER is what they said, we'll let them know you're coming. The local ER called and said to take her to Ann Arbor to the Children's Hospital @ the University of Michigan.

My inlaws & only babysitters were in Florida on vacation, so I stayed home with Cooper who was only 2 at the time. And my poor DH took Keira alone to the hospital. After about 6 hours he finally called me, and I was starting to get nervous. Our lives changed forever on April 8, 2010. He told me the doctors found a large mass around her left kidney and they thought it was cancer! Shock doesn't even begin to describe what I was going through, much less what my poor husband that had to hear this alone was going through. DH's uncle came to stay with Coop while my BIL & SIL drove me to the hospital in a town I barely knew my way around.

When I got there they told us it was probably Wilms Tumor, the best kind of cancer you can get if you're going to get cancer. 94-97% cure rate. Great new right! And it was. Things moved quickly, I got to the hospital around 4pm on a Thursday, Keira went into a 9 1/2 hour surgery on Friday around noon. They removed her left kidney and a 10 cm tumor. She was stage II and went through a pretty easy 18 weeks of chemo. Never loosing her hair or anything. She turned 5 about a month after surgery, She started kindergarten that fall.

Fast forward to May 12, 2011, 9 months since Keira's last round of chemo, our 3rd, 3 month check-up. There is a new tumor, looks like Wilms, 8 cm on her liver. Right smack dab in the middle of her liver. What??? Not again. Chemo will be more intense this time, she'll need radiation, still great cure rate, 75-80% cure rate. Don't worry. 6 months of chemo. On Keira's 6th birthday she had an MRI to get things all figured out.

I won't say chemo was a breeze this time around, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Radiation took 16 rounds, September 28, 2011 they removed the tumor, that had shrank to 2 cm. And then December 29, 2011 she completed her last round of chemo.

Why a MAW Trip
Getting our Dates!
The Game Plan

Specific Plans for Each Park




This survivor photo was taken on her 1 year anniversary of being diagnosed



This summer she got to be a ribbon cutter @ relay for life, but she did loose her hair this time around.


This was Keira about a month after surgery showing off her new upside down t scar


Our Little Super Girl & Superman on Halloween


Our family on Christmas Eve

Last edited by nesser1981; 02-16-2012 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:35 AM   #2
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And I'm sure someone else has probably answered this question, but my inlaws are thinking about going on the trip with us, would they be able to stay at GKTW with us? I know they have to pay for everything else, I was just curious if that was allowed.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:45 AM   #3
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I see you have already posted on the Wishtrippers thread. It is a WEALTH of info and I strongly recommend reading ALL of the links on page 1, post 2...many of your questions might be answered there about technical things...

Several families have been successful at having others stay at GKTW if the total per villa is 7 or less...I am sure someone else with more info will be alog to answer this better than I ...I would go ahead and contact your Wish Granters and ask...it seems that is where everyone else started with that request. Once again...

Your family is BEAUTIFUL!!! There are several Wilms Families who have taken their Wish Trips
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:50 AM   #4
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Aww, thank you so much! With my inlaws there would be 6 of us. I think they are considering going when we get more information.

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I see you have already posted on the Wishtrippers thread. It is a WEALTH of info and I strongly recommend reading ALL of the links on page 1, post 2...many of your questions might be answered there about technical things...

Several families have been successful at having others stay at GKTW if the total per villa is 7 or less...I am sure someone else with more info will be alog to answer this better than I ...I would go ahead and contact your Wish Granters and ask...it seems that is where everyone else started with that request. Once again...

Your family is BEAUTIFUL!!! There are several Wilms Families who have taken their Wish Trips
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by nesser1981 View Post
And I'm sure someone else has probably answered this question, but my inlaws are thinking about going on the trip with us, would they be able to stay at GKTW with us? I know they have to pay for everything else, I was just curious if that was allowed.
I want to say "why not?", but I totally have no idea. I think there is room for six in the villas at GKTW. I would check with your local MAW chapter to see how they handle that!

I loved reading about your daughter and family!! What a little fighter you have!!
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:45 PM   #6
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I want to say "why not?", but I totally have no idea. I think there is room for six in the villas at GKTW. I would check with your local MAW chapter to see how they handle that!

I loved reading about your daughter and family!! What a little fighter you have!!
Awww, thank you so much!

I really hope so, it would be great if they can come & help out a little.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:22 PM   #7
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Hi!!! Your kiddos are so cute!! You are going to have such an awesome time!!!

The Villas are laid out with 2 bedrooms and then a fold out sofa in the living room. One bedroom has a queen size, and the other has single beds. So there would be room for the inlaws I think! When my nephew went on his MAW trip in 2010 after his final chemo treatments for medullablastoma, my DH and I came along as well, but because their family is big, we stayed at the POP century and just met up with them every day. We were able to go to GKTW to visit a few times, and were permitted to eat 1 meal with them while we were there. There are lots of fun things that your kids will like to do at GKTW!!!

If you have any questions, please ask away!!!
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:52 PM   #8
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So I've been trying to tell my kids a little about GKTW based on the things I've been reading here & a little about Disney, since my son doesn't remember going & we only did a one day trip to MK with DD & DS when she was 4, about a month before we found out she was sick.

I started talking about Mickey Mouse & my 3 1/2 year old son, Cooper says, "Did you say Mickey Mouse? We get to see Mickey Mouse?" When I told him yes, he started going crazy! He was really afraid of the characters the last time we went, he was only 2.

And I told them about the Ice Cream place & said you could eat Ice Cream for breakfast. Later today Cooper says, do we get to go to that place with the ice cream for breakfast & Mickey Mouse. LOL!

I can't wait to get the ball rolling & I'm a big disney fan myself. I've been to MK twice, AK once, Epcot once, never to Hollywood Studios. And when DH & I were in Japan we went to Tokyo Disneyland & Disney Sea. I'm going to be just as excited as the kiddos.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:54 PM   #9
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Thank you! Awesome! I can't wait to find out a little more about everything.

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Originally Posted by billwendy View Post
Hi!!! Your kiddos are so cute!! You are going to have such an awesome time!!!

The Villas are laid out with 2 bedrooms and then a fold out sofa in the living room. One bedroom has a queen size, and the other has single beds. So there would be room for the inlaws I think! When my nephew went on his MAW trip in 2010 after his final chemo treatments for medullablastoma, my DH and I came along as well, but because their family is big, we stayed at the POP century and just met up with them every day. We were able to go to GKTW to visit a few times, and were permitted to eat 1 meal with them while we were there. There are lots of fun things that your kids will like to do at GKTW!!!

If you have any questions, please ask away!!!
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:56 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by nesser1981 View Post
So I've been trying to tell my kids a little about GKTW based on the things I've been reading here & a little about Disney, since my son doesn't remember going & we only did a one day trip to MK with DD & DS when she was 4, about a month before we found out she was sick.

I started talking about Mickey Mouse & my 3 1/2 year old son, Cooper says, "Did you say Mickey Mouse? We get to see Mickey Mouse?" When I told him yes, he started going crazy! He was really afraid of the characters the last time we went, he was only 2.

And I told them about the Ice Cream place & said you could eat Ice Cream for breakfast. Later today Cooper says, do we get to go to that place with the ice cream for breakfast & Mickey Mouse. LOL!

I can't wait to get the ball rolling & I'm a big disney fan myself. I've been to MK twice, AK once, Epcot once, never to Hollywood Studios. And when DH & I were in Japan we went to Tokyo Disneyland & Disney Sea. I'm going to be just as excited as the kiddos.
Too Fun!!! Ice Cream for breakfast is the FIRST thing Lisa tells people when they ask about GKTW!!

There is also a rollaway cot/bed in the villa as well, from what I have read...
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:13 PM   #11
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Too Fun!!! Ice Cream for breakfast is the FIRST thing Lisa tells people when they ask about GKTW!!

There is also a rollaway cot/bed in the villa as well, from what I have read...
The ice cream there is YUMMY!!!!!!!! They will do sundae's or milkshakes or cones.......YUM!!!!!!!

Yes, there was a roll away in the bedroom with the single beds. I think the max is 7 (which is what Daniel's family had). The villa was a nice size!
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:18 PM   #12
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The ice cream there is YUMMY!!!!!!!! They will do sundae's or milkshakes or cones.......YUM!!!!!!!

Yes, there was a roll away in the bedroom with the single beds. I think the max is 7 (which is what Daniel's family had). The villa was a nice size!
You are making me hungry Wendy...Rachel and I want a HOT FUDGE Sundaes!!! David has been talking about all of the Banana Splits he can eat...Lisa wants straight ice cream and Pete and Christian want it ALL!!!

I bet Daniel's TR is one of the places I read that 7 could stay!
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:23 PM   #13
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You are making me hungry Wendy...Rachel and I want a HOT FUDGE Sundaes!!! David has been talking about all of the Banana Splits he can eat...Lisa wants straight ice cream and Pete and Christian want it ALL!!!

I bet Daniel's TR is one of the places I read that 7 could stay!
Lol - the ice cream is so super creamy dreamy - YUM!!! And, we sat outside in a big bowl and ate it! We got to go to GKTW and do the Christmas party with them - so FUN! And, the regular food was YUMMY TOO!!!!! Just in case you needed to be HUNGRIER!!!!! HAHA!!
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:47 PM   #14
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Lol - the ice cream is so super creamy dreamy - YUM!!! And, we sat outside in a big bowl and ate it! We got to go to GKTW and do the Christmas party with them - so FUN! And, the regular food was YUMMY TOO!!!!! Just in case you needed to be HUNGRIER!!!!! HAHA!!
That DID make me "hungrier"! I think we ALL have something to look forward to! (sorry for hijacking your thread...now we can ALL dream of ice cream though!)
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:46 AM   #15
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It all sounds awesome! I can't wait for the ball to start rolling.

We were planning on figuring out a way to pay for a trip at the end of February when I have spring break from school, but now we don't have to! Just wonder how long the whole process is going to take. Sounds like it could be this time next year from the information package we got.
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