“No one's slick as Gaston, no one's quick as Gaston, no one's neck's as incredibly thick as Gaston!” Jeffrey, who has a heart condition, loves all musical theater and Disney, and was particularly interested in the live-action Beauty & the Beast film. No character had ever quite captured his attention before like Gaston. Jeffrey idolized Gaston’s tough guy, “too cool for school” persona and, as makes sense for a 12-year-old boy, he wanted to be just like the man who didn’t play by the rules like everyone else.
When discussing a wish, tons of ideas went through Jeffrey’s head but ultimately, he decided that the greatest thing would be to visit Gaston at Walt Disney World®! Make-A-Wish® Colorado couldn’t wait to start preparing Jeffrey’s dream meet-and-greet vacation.
Jeffrey’s family made their way to Florida for the vacation of a lifetime! They took in all the parks had to offer, from Jedi training at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® to a Lion King show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. They also enjoyed the unlimited ice cream at Give Kids The World® Village!
The morning the family was scheduled to meet Gaston, Jeffrey was a little exhausted from all the fun he had been experiencing during the trip. It was also a very early wake-up call to make it to the meet-and-greet! However, everything changed when Gaston arrived! From the moment the burly, boisterous man walked through the door, Jeffrey lit up and was living a dream come true. He fully believed that this was his friend whom he’d grown to know through the movies. The two exchanged playful banter and discussed everything from Belle to the Beast.
Before saying goodbye to Gaston, Jeffrey had one more request: a push-up contest! Grinning, Gaston and Jeffrey dropped to the floor to start the contest. It’s not clear how many push-ups the two completed but it’s now well-known throughout the land that there’s no one as strong as Gaston and Jeffrey!
“He was the happiest kid on the planet,” said Jeffrey’s mom. “It brought tears to my eyes to watch, because we were genuinely seeing his dream come true. Meeting Gaston became the perfection of the wish and we were floored at how it changed Jeffrey’s level of joy.”
“Seeing your child receive something like this. So full of joy, happiness, excitement… was a gift that we could never have given him.”