Nicholas’ story by wish mom Kathy Dewey…
We had been in treatment for a year and a half when we found out Nicholas’ Rhabdomyosarcoma had returned. We immediately contacted Make-A-Wish and they found us a spot at Give Kids The World. We had heard great things about GKTW, but it was so much more than we could ever have imagined. We had our own private villa with all of Nick’s medical supplies: feeding pump, nutrition, oxygen etc., and we didn’t have to do anything to get it arranged; it was amazing!
I remember waking up the first morning at the Village before the kids woke up. My husband and I were so sad knowing the cancer was back, just in a really dark place that we didn’t allow our boys to see. Once they woke up and we got going, watching our boys enjoy themselves made this feeling lessen each day until it was gone. It was so much fun to have pizza delivered to our villa and get ice cream whenever we wanted – just such a happy place to be.
Right before we left, we had Nick’s central line removed so he was able to take a bath and go swimming for the first time since starting treatment! He loved the pool and the Jacuzzi tub in our room; he was in heaven! We could have easily just stayed at GKTW, but since we hadn’t been to Walt Disney World before, we also went to the park. We did spend a whole day at GKTW just having fun, in addition to all of our mornings and evenings.
We hadn’t seen our boys have fun and smile for a loooong time, and it was so healing to see them happy and having fun together! Such BIG smiles! We were really struggling when we got there, sad and worn out, but the generosity of everyone at GKTW gave us a chance to re-set and get back to living each day to the fullest.
This experience took us away from what had been going on for the previous 15 months and we went forward with the attitude of making the most out of what we had with no regrets – which we did, creating so many more great memories. It was a turning point, a catalyst. We got off of one road and turned down another. It was a HUGE gift for us and very life-changing.
I don’t know if I can express how important this trip was to our family. We will never forget, and we sure didn’t want to leave! We made happy memories we treasure deeply and they still make us smile.
We do a fundraiser each year in Nicholas’ memory on his birthday. Thank you for giving our family this precious time together.