Dear Ashley, Ryan, and Ginny,
We hope you and your families are doing well and preparing for a wonderful summer!
Please forgive us for the delay in attempting to express our deepest gratitude to you all and to the generous support network of Make-A-Wish. It has been six months since Anna’s Wish Trip, and even this morning, our kids were talking excitedly about our happiest memories and wearing their souvenir hats around the house. The experience we shared in Disney World in December was beyond anything we ever expected, hoped, or dreamed, and we feel humbled knowing that all we can really say is THANK YOU.
The last five years have been layered with many difficult moments, victories in between, and ongoing challenges as we watch Anna’s story continue to unfold. Since our return from Disney, she has struggled medically and recently endured her 15th neurosurgery at the end of April. In the Make-A-Wish family, we know we are not alone in these heartaches. That week both at Disney and at Give Kids the World proved to us over and over that there is deep and lasting joy on this journey even in the most painful places. We all felt so loved, celebrated, and NORMAL for the first time since we became a family of five! It was like we spent a week in intensive care to heal our hearts and our family. How can we say thank you for that?!
I could tell a million stories and share a thousand ways the staff at Disney, the volunteers at GKTW, and YOU have blessed our family. It was truly beyond anything we ever dreamed, and the memories continue to uplift us through the ongoing medical care. We even met a fellow Wish family from our area at Give Kids the World, and they have become dear friends of ours. As soon as we left GKTW, we all discussed when we would return as volunteers to bless the children and families the way we received. The kindness we experienced was overwhelming, and we would love the opportunity to extend the same to hurting families like ours.
We cannot say thank you enough! Truly, words are insufficient to express our most heartfelt gratitude. From the bottom of our hearts, we all thank you for the work you do, not only for us, but for all the grieving and weary families with suffering children. This is certainly a life we never would’ve chosen, but I can honestly say, there is goodness here and deep joy. Thank you for being a part of that.
We took hundreds of pictures to try to capture every moment, and of course, they won’t all fit in an email. I chose some of our favorites to share, especially of Anna’s wish coming true! She met Mary Poppins and Snow White, she went to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and became Snow White, and she rode the Dumbo ride (her favorite) three times! And our boys trained as Jedi Knights! You granted more than Anna’s wish! It was a magical time for us all, and we will be forever grateful.
If you ever need volunteers to share stories or experience with fellow Disney Wish families, we would love to be a part of that. Please don’t hesitate to contact us. It would be our privilege to partner with Make-A-Wish in any way we can!
With our deepest gratitude,
Tim, Jamie, TJ, Lucas, and Anna