From the moment Xander was born, a life-threatening medical diagnosis has dominated his world. In desperate need of a heart transplant, Xander underwent what would be the first of many heart surgeries at 11 weeks old. Now 8 years later, Xander still undergoes treatments and surgeries to help ensure that his new heart works perfectly. Xander has faced each new challenge with unwavering strength, so the promise of a wish trip to Walt Disney World Resort®
was a special and magical reward for him and his family.
With Cinderella’s castle as their backdrop and winding and twisting roller coasters calling their name, Xander and his family were thrilled by the adventure that was just beyond the gates of Disney World. Using their genie passes, Xander and his family skipped to the front of every line and met every twist and turn of the rides with unending laughter. Xander loved all the rides, especially Toy Story Mania, a 4D ride that allows you to blast through moving targets as Woody and Buzz Lightyear cheer you on. Using toy cannons, Xander and his two brothers competed for the highest score, but all left the ride winners. “After all he has had to endure, it was so amazing to see him be a kid with no limitations again,” Elizabeth, Xander’s mother claimed. Though the rides and attractions at Walt Disney World were fun for Xander, his favorite part of the trip was the safari through Animal Kingdom. In their open-air vehicle, Xander and his family trekked their way through the rugged African outback and saw lions perching on rocks, hippopotamus bathing in the water and giraffes eating from the tallest trees. For a kid who has always loved the zoo, Xander never wanted the expedition to end.
With such a wonderful trip behind them, Xander and his family continue to spend their days with laughter and joy as they reminisce about their best days from their trip. “We left the trip feeling like a family again and that meant everything to us,” Elizabeth shared. Until Xander and his family have the chance to return to Walt Disney World, you can find Xander playing in his room with all of his favorite souvenirs from his trip.