Owen is a non-verbal, 4-year-old with cancer. He’s never had much opportunity to just be a kid. With the focus on doctors, chemotherapy and treatment, his time hasn’t ever been fully devoted to carefree and fun activities.
When Make-A-Wish® Colorado granted Owen a wish to go to Disney World, everything changed. Throughout treatment and his journey to get better, Mickey Mouse had always been a friendly confidant to Owen, who would light up every time he saw him. Meeting friends like Mickey and other Disney characters was not a far reality once Owen’s trip to Walt Disney World Resorts® was set in motion!
From the moment the trip began, Owen was the star! Everyone who encountered Owen on the trip offered kindness, understanding and ultimately an escape to be a happy, carefree kid--something he hadn’t been able to experience before. Meeting all the Disney friends he had gotten to know during treatment was Owen’s favorite part of the trip. He loved Tigger and Pooh the best, especially because Tigger got down on his level and gave him undivided attention.
Today, Owen is thriving through treatment. While he’s still focusing energy on getting better, his perspective has changed. Owen’s mom said that before the trip, Owen was typically sad and overwhelmed with the idea that he couldn’t do anything like normal kids. But the happiness and joy that his wish trip offered has given Owen a new fighting spirit.
“He feels able to do anything he wants. He feels he can handle things. He’s a big kid now,” said his mom. She said she was blown away with how much the wish lifted all their spirits through Owen’s journey.