Abigail really 'dug' the beach

Ariel, from Disney’s The Little Mermaid, once said, “Who says that my dreams have to stay my dreams?” A Special Wish Foundation- Dayton Chapter (ASW) strives to take the dreams of children battling life-threatening illnesses and turn them into realities, as was the case for Abigail Smith. Abigail’s dream was to go to Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. In June 2019, ASW made that dream a reality.

On June 10, Abigail, her four siblings, and her parents, hopped on a plane to California to begin their journey. The family enjoyed their stay in an Airbnb, set up by ASW. Becky, Abigail’s mom, described, “The house even had a fenced in backyard with a little picnic table where we ate our breakfast as a family each morning.” Abigail’s favorite ride at Disneyland was Ariel’s Undersea Adventure in Disney California Adventure Park. Her mom shared, “After the third time riding the ride, the cast member helping folks asked, ‘Are you sure you don't want to ride again?’” Becky also stated, “The kids were thrilled with the ‘Wish Pass’ that allowed us direct access to all the rides without having to wait in line and also to ride each ride as many times as we wanted. Abigail had the system pretty well figured out by our third day and would just hold up her pass as we approached the end of a ride she enjoyed, so she could keep riding. The accommodations were just perfect for our family!”

Not only did Abigail’s wish provide quality time with their immediate family, but the Smiths were able to enjoy three days at the beach with their extended family- grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Becky explained, “It has been 4 years since we have been out to visit Abigail's grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. WOW! We are still overwhelmed with everything you gave.”

The funds for Abigail’s trip were raised by the Huber Heights Fire Department.

Having a child with a life-threatening illness can bring many burdens to the family as a whole, as Abigail’s mom explains, “Often, over the last year of Abigail's treatment, our other 4 kids were left out and didn't get much time with mom and dad as all the attention went to Abigail.” A Special Wish Foundation- Dayton gives families an opportunity to spend time together and make special memories, outside of the hospital rooms. Becky stated, “Everyone in the family agreed that this was the best vacation we have had as a family. I can't tell you how much this time blessed Andrew and I as parents to see all of our kids laughing and enjoying themselves so much after such a difficult year.”

When talking about their overall experience with ASW, Becky stated “I'm not sure you will ever fully know what this trip has meant to all of us. Words don't quite seem adequate. Please know that your work is so worth-while and our lives have been so greatly impacted by this experience. You have gone above and beyond. We will never forget the wonderful experiences we had because of A Special Wish.” A Special Wish Foundation- Dayton grants approximately 50 wishes a year to children, just like Abigail, in the Dayton and surrounding region.

Please join ASW today by making a donation (https://www.aspecialwishdayton.org/donate-now) and help grant the Special Wish of a local child battling for their life. All funds raised stay here in the Dayton Region benefiting 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 a part of granting a local child’s wish, please visit aspecialwishdayton.org or call 937-223-WISH (9474).