Hunter Goes to Walt Disney World

When Hunter was just 2 years old, his parents (Joe and Heather) noticed he had swollen glands in his throat. They made an appointment with their family doctor thinking he just had a case of strep throat. During the exam, the doctor lifted Hunter’s shirt and examined his liver and spleen and directed the family to immediately go to Dayton Children's. This was not a simple case of strep… this was much worse. While at Dayton Children's, Joe and Heather heard the words no parents ever want to hear, “Your child has cancer.”

During treatment, Hunter’s parents were connected with A Special Wish Foundation- Dayton Chapter, where Hunter could make any wish he wanted. Since Hunter loves everything Disney Pixar Cars and Toy Story, it was no surprise that he wanted to go to Walt Disney World. “Hunter is still talking about Toy Story Land and the Slinky Dog Dash ride! We had to ride it three times,” exclaimed Heather. While at Disney’s Hollywood Studio, Hunter got to attend Lightning McQueen’s (from Disney Pixar Cars) Racing Academy! There he got to learn what it takes to be a champion racer from the legendary Lightning McQueen! Hunter even braved the Tower of Terror, an accelerated drop tower dark ride.

While in Orlando, the family stayed at Give Kids the World Village, an 84-acre resort with 166 villa accommodations, unique entertainment attractions, whimsical venues, and fun activities for children of all abilities. “The villa was AMAZING, and everyone there was wonderful and had a purpose. They were always happy and smiling,” recalled Heather. “We are so thankful for all of the memories made on this trip.  Even Delta out of Dayton (from the time we went to counter) were so awesome to us and Hunter! Hunter got a toy right after they scanned our carry on and at end of flight the pilot had him go in cock pit. They also gave us a goody bag! We will even be using the Park-N-Go service in the future. We were totally set up and the car was started and ready for us when we got back!”

The funds for Hunter’s trip were raised by Curves of Centerville. Every year, the members of Curves of Centerville has a garage sale, and the proceeds go to a charity that supports cancer.  A Special Wish Foundation was the recipient of the 2018 sale. They raised enough money to grant the entire wish for Hunter and his family.

Stories like Hunter’s are all too familiar with families in the Dayton and surrounding region.  Please join ASW today by making a donation ( and help grant the Special Wish of a local child battling for their life. All funds raised stays here in the Dayton Region benefitting local children.

A Special Wish Foundation – Dayton is the only wish granting organization located in the Dayton region and has been making special wishes come true since 1983. For more information on how you can be part of granting a local child’s wish, go online to or call 937.223.WISH (9474).