#141 Joshua (w/Mickey Mouse balloon) and his sister #142 Sarah (w/Minnie Mouse balloon) live with Type l diabetes. In February 2012, the whole family, Mom, Dad and sister Carly (i Carly balloon) will be sailed off on an adventure. Their Disney Dream cruise took them to the island of Nassau and Disney's private island Castaway Cay. The entire family enjoyed every moment of the experience. They were very excited to experience this ray of sunshine that poked out from behind the cloud of their chronic disease. The ray of sunshine showed them that dreams do come true.
#134 Marissa is 6 years old, lives in Bloomfield and, like so many of the children we've been meeting lately, has Type l diabetes. Sometimes we see the smiles on the children's faces and look at their photos and know they had a great time, but it's the words the families share with us that mean so much.
Our family cannot thank you enough for the amazing journey we just took to Florida and GKTW...we were spoiled rotten and will find coming back to reality quite difficult. The royal treatment at the village and the parks was overwhelming...visiting Disney in the future will be hard for the kids to understand why they have to wait in a line:-) We brought back a whole suitcase of gifts and souvenirs and endless memories...we are eternally grateful!
#130 and #131 Shiekmar and his sister MarQuijuana both have sickle cell disease. Each child was able to get through most of their young lives with daily preventative treatments, until recently when each experienced an extended hospital stay. Having never left the Rochester area before, the idea of family trip had the kids literally bouncing off the furniture. Disney World was something the children had heard about, seen on TV, and could only dream about. With a family of 7, an experience like that was beyond anything the family could imagine, until they met The Dream Factory. Imagine the excitement, the wonder, the thrills of Disney World and Give Kids the World through the eyes of children who until then had never left the city. It was all a wonder to behold, it was all a dream come true. And now it is a reality that they all treasure, an experience they will never forget.
#128 Ryan found out his dream was going to come true at The Dream Factory's annual Buzz the Red White and Blue picnic. This 9 year old young man from Dansville with cystic fibrosis was presented with a Stuffed Mickey Mouse, a certificate declaring his dream would soon come true, and a special box of treats from the Disney Cruise line. In mid August Ryan was presented with travel gifts and well wishes by NASCAR driver and Dream Factory Ambassador, Alex Kennedy. Everything was planned and arranged, except for the little hurricane which was working its way up the eastern coast. Some quick rearranging and Ryan was in Orlando ahead of the storm, by the time his ship sailed, the hurricane was wreaking havoc on the more northern states. It was all smooth sailing ahead!
#127 Annaleci is one of those dream children where everything comes together very quickly. Born with a congenital heart defect, Annaleci from Avon, NY undergoes open heart surgery more times than we can imagine. The Dream Factory received Annaleci's application in February. She had surgery scheduled for the end of April. Could we plan a trip to Hollywood, CA before her surgery? If that's what Annaleci's dream was, then that is what we would do. Thanks to Kristie's Foundation, Annaleci and her family saw the Hollywood Walk of Fame, enjoyed a bus tour of Hollywood homes, spent a day at Universal Studios Hollywood, and had a great trip to the San Diego Zoo. When she returned home, the photos and memories of her trip helped to pull her through a strong and successful recovery.
#126 Anna lives in Hilton, NY. She was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome and severe seizures when she was very young. There are a few things that give her joy and some of those involve watching Disney shows on TV. The characters make her smile and that is what The Dream Factory wanted to achieve. Anna and her family spent a week at Give Kids the World and enjoyed every moment of the amazing experience.
#122 Olivia answered a knock on her front door early one March morning. Surprise! The Dream Factory was there to whisk 3 year old Olivia and her family off to Central Florida. The limo was waiting in the driveway filled with the family's bags and the little princess was off on an adventure. She couldn't ignore her diabetes, but she could dress as a princess and forget all the worries. With all the joy and happiness that week there was little time to worry about the realities of doctor visits and finger pricks.
#120 Taryn was nearly a teenager before she was diagnosed with Type l diabetes. She learned to adjust and she learned to recognize what needs to happen when she feels the "highs" and "lows" of her disease. Taryn knew about The Dream Factory from the fundraising events that her elementary school used to host each year. A family fun fair at School #41 raised funds to full dreams. Now it was Taryn's turn to be on the receiving end. A cruise was planned for March, but airplane challenges led us all to rethink that plan. Things were quickly rescheduled and Taryn and her family had a great time cruising to the Bahamas. What goes around comes around- Taryn and her family's dedication to the school event showed her that dreams do come true and when she was ready for us, The Dream Factory was ready to help.
#119 Colin is actually a dream child from New Jersey with Type l diabetes. As a National Organization, there are new Dream Factory chapters being formed each year. Frequently it is a challenge to raise the funds necessary to fulfill a child's dream. American Airline's Something MAAgic foundation recognized this and chose to fly Colin to Central Florida. The Dream Factory of the Jersey Shore did their part and The Dream Factory of Rochester helped support one of the organizations newest chapters by providing the funds for those extra misc. expenses. We've all made a new friend and Colin and his family are true believers in the power of dreams.
#118 Caitlin is a young teenager living in Pittsford. She has a disease that few have heard of even less know how to treat. Affecting her central nervous system, Caitlin's disease is quite unpredictable and can make her day to day activities a challenge. What she needed, what she wanted, was to get away from it all for a short amount of time. The Dream Factory sent Caitlin on a Carnival cruise where she enjoyed the tropical islands and the on board activities. For Caitlin and her family, this brief cruise was a time to regroup and focus their attention on what matters most, each other.
#117 Ronan was 8 years old when he began chemo and radiation treatments for a tumor on his pituitary gland. One thing that kept him occupied during his hospital visits and surgeries was playing with Legos and the promise of more of these great building blocks. There was just one thing The Dream Factory could do for Ronan; we could send him to Legoland in California. Ronan and his family explored the rides and exhibits at the park, but his dream really came true when he was able to spend the greater part of a day with one of the Head Lego Designers. Truly a dream come true for most young boys.
#116 Julia was 3 when she was selected to participate in MAAgic Flight 2010. Her constant struggle with cystic fibrosis has sent her to the hospital on many occasions. Even at 4am on the morning she was traveling to Orlando, Florida. Also going with the flow, no emergency room visit could stop the excitement. Julia loved every moment of her visit to Give Kids the World. She and her family made the most of their stay and are sincerely grateful to have received such a special dream come true.
#115 Skyler is a 4 year old young lady from Williamson, NY. Skyler conquered the odds when she was born with one lung and a heart defect, but a complication during one of her surgeries resulted in the loss of mobility and dependency upon a ventilator. Skyler's smile can charm anyone and she was excited to have the opportunity to travel to Central Florida with her mom and grandma. Skyler participated in a special program run by American Airline's Something mAAgic Foundation. MAAgic flight 2010 was a once in a lifetime opportunity which brought a young lady face to face with her friend- Sponge Bob.
#112 Aiden, from Hamlin was diagnosed with Type l diabetes a couple of years ago. Now an active 6 year old, Aiden asked The Dream Factory if he could ride a train through the mountains. Somewhere between the flight to Denver and the train ride through the Rocky Mountains, Aiden and his family discovered that dreams can come true!
#109 Tessa's ulcerative colitis resulted in a couple of major surgeries for this young lady from Webster. When her doctors gave her the all clear to swim The Dream Factory began working to fulfill her dream. Tessa wanted to swim with the dolphins. The Dolphin Research Center in Marathon, Florida made this young ladies dream come true. The Holiday Inn Express Marathon and Tilden's Scuba Center all helped by donating accommodations and wetsuits. The photos are incredible (see them on Facebook @ Dream Factory Rochester NY), the stories fantastic and the memories will last a lifetime!
#107 Kelly, a 14 year old from Cheektowaga, has been nominated to participate in the People to People Student Ambassador Program. She spent 17 days traveling around Australia on an incredible adventure. Kelly explored the Great Barrier Reef, met many people from the local cultures and had an amazing, once in a lifetime experience. The Dream Factory, with help from the Vacation Bible School at Fairport’s Bethlehem Lutheran Church, a majority of Kelly's expenses were paid.
#106 Seven year old Jaycee of Chili forgot about her kidney disease when she spent a week in Orlando, Florida. The entire week she could be found with a smile plastered across her face. She and her family enjoyed Sea World and Disney World and Give Kids the World. They hit every ride they could, fed the dolphins, went horseback riding and swimming at Kids Village. To make it even more special, Jaycee brought her Grandmother along for the trip. The photos are wonderful and the memories will last a lifetime. It was a wonderful trip for everyone!
#105 Legos occupy a lot of Ben's time. He has been an avid builder for many years. When asked what he would like from The Dream Factory, Ben's first request was to see how the bricks are made. After a bit of research we learned, the only Lego factory is in Denmark. A little creativity led us to Ben's second choice, Legoland near San Diego, California. Just over a month after we met him and his family, this Victor family was off on an adventure. The highlight was the visit to Legoland and an introduction to the head resident builder. To quote Ben's Mom, "Chance of a life time for our family and especially Ben. None of us will ever forget it." And if you are ever at Legoland looking at the huge scale model of NYC, look for a Lego person who looks like Ben, right in the middle of Times Square!
#101 Sharbrice's life with sickle cell disease has been complicated with surgeries and pain crisis' and hospital stays. Sharbrice wanted to go someplace where she could go on rides, see some sites, and relax in the sunshine by a pool. Put it all together and it sounds like a visit to Orlando Florida, complete with a 6 day stay at Give Kids the World, tickets to Disney World, Sea World and Universal Studios. The three young ladies (Mom, Sharbrice, and Shivonni) had a wonderful time, they've been through a lot together and this was finally something they could enjoy, together.
#99 This set of sisters from Webster live with cystic fibrosis. At 14 and 12 years of age, they have both been to the hospital for various surgeries and treatments. As much as they try to be normal every day kids, their daily routines revolve around medication and twice daily "vest" treatments. Both girls are talented piano players and performers. Emily, who loves the idea of traveling, asked The Dream Factory for a Caribbean Cruise, and so, before they knew it, the passports had arrived, snorkeling excursions were booked, and the family was off on an adventure. #100 Elizabeth, who loves being part of the drama club at school, had a different dream. Elizabeth was able to meet her favorite musician, Idina Menzel. Ms. Menzel, who indeed has a beautiful voice starred in the Broadway production of Wicked. Syracuse University donated front row seats for Elizabeth, Emily and their mom and East Coast Limousine made sure the three ladies arrived on time and in style. After the concert, Elizabeth, although a little shy, was able to spend some time with Ms. Menzel to chat, take photos, and get autographs.
#96 Stefan, from Chili also lives with sickle cell disease. A little more advanced, Stefan receives regular blood transfusions to control the pain and challenges which frequently accompany this illness. Stefan took his family to Central Florida for a visit to Give Kids the World and the area attractions. His mom reports that the family went to every park and did everything possible. The volunteers where great, they even met a few from Rochester! Universal Studios was his favorite and his cousin who was able to accompany him enjoyed the horseback riding at the Village. The family even had the opportunity for shopping and visiting with relatives who live in Central Florida. Everyone agreed, it was a fantastic trip.
#95 Living with sickle cell is not the easiest thing for a teenager. DeVonte takes it in stride and does what he needs to do to stay as healthy as possible. When we asked DeVonte what he would like from The Dream Factory, his initial thought was a video game that he could play. After thinking it over a bit, he asked our volunteer, "If I go on a trip, will my whole family come too?" When hearing that they would, DeVonte changed his mind; he wanted to go to Disney World so his whole family could enjoy the experience and have a great family vacation. Something they have never been able to do before. With a trip to Orlando and a stay at Give Kids the World, the memories of his family trip with last a long time.
#94 Lauren, who lives in Webster, never knew an organization like The Dream Factory could do anything for her. Now living with Type I diabetes and End Stage Renal Disease, Lauren's weekly routine revolves around dialysis. Despite all that has been tossed at her, Lauren battles on and plans her future after a transplant. When asked about a dream choice, Lauren wanted to take her family on a cruise. A company called Dialysis at Sea allowed Lauren to enjoy an Eastern Caribbean Cruise and receive the necessary dialysis while on board. Lauren's mom let us know, "The cruise was unbelievable and I don't think it could have been any more perfect. Lauren was able to do all the excursions and absolutely loved the zip lines the best."
#93 5 year old Jacob, his brother- 8 year old William, and their Mom live in Ontario, NY. Each day can be a challenge when you have two very active young boys with hemophilia. There have been many complications, too many hospital visits to count, and endless testing and medications. But through it all, Jacob is a 5 year old boy who loves Spiderman. Despite a small hurricane, his family headed off to Orlando to visit Disney World and Universal Studios (where Spiderman lives). They didn't let a little rain stop them, they knew it was a once in a lifetime experience and the family enjoyed every moment of it.
#92 The Summer and Fall of 08 will be busy times for this 17 year old Newark native. Shane will be graduating HS, hopefully having a liver transplant, and then attending St John Fisher College. Before all this happens, however, The Dream Factory made his dream come true. Shane had two simple requests, he wanted to go to the bottom of and fly over the top of The Grand Canyon! While in Arizona, Shane, his Dad, and his brother, spent some time with relatives in Phoenix played Frisbee golf and enjoyed the warm weather. Then they headed towards the Grand Canyon where they saw an amazing IMAX movie, took a tour 210 stories below ground of the Grand Canyon Caverns then took a jeep tour to the Colorado River for lunch. The next day they returned to the canyon, this time by helicopter. The Havasupai Heli-hiking tour allowed him to enjoy a helicopter flight to the Havasupai Indian Reservation where they hiked to the incredible waterfall that is the highlight of the area, enjoyed the afternoon and flew back at the end of the day. With a dream like this, we all wish we could join him! Shane has quite a road ahead of him, hopefully the photos and memories of this trip will ease him through the bumps.
#89 This set of sisters was born with the genetic disease, sickle cell anemia. Grantheia at the age of 12 has been hospitalized numerous times; including the day we were able to meet her. Add in a thyroid complication, and you know this is a young lady who definitely could use something positive. Although she was exhausted, Grantheia eagerly told us she'd like to go to Disney World and paid close attention to our volunteers as we spoke about Give Kids the World and the Orlando vacation she could receive. She fell asleep that afternoon with a smile on her face Jump ahead a couple of months to a week in May. Grantheia felt great and truly enjoyed the sunshine and special treatment she received while on her dream trip. #88 Rosalyn too was initially looking forwards to a trip, but the more she thought about it, the more she thought, a home theater system would be great too. It's something she could have for a long time as well as something that her friends and family could all enjoy. Thanks again to The Stereo Shop, her home theatre system was set up and delivered in early June.
# 87 Megan, from Medina, loves horses and visiting the beach. After dealing with the effects of Lyme disease for several years, Megan has turned to The Dream Factory to have her dream come true. In February, Megan and her parents traveled to the Bahamas for a 6 day all inclusive, relaxing trip. The most exciting part for the whole family was the experience of riding horseback on the beach. Megan's mother wrote to tell us "this was such a Dream come true for Megan, for us all! It still leaves us spell bound that Dream Factory exists and does this for kids like Megan who have struggled for so long. It made it all the more special. Everything we did was like being handed a gift from all of you who made this a reality. We cannot find the words to thank you enough."
#84 Lloyd is 8 years old and has been hospitalized approximately 12 times due to his Sickle Cell Disease. He looked for time away from the hospital, time to be with kids who understand the challenges of being ill. He looked for a trip to Disney World. With his brothers, Mom, and Aunt, Lloyd was able to be a kid again, a kid who played miniature golf with dinosaurs and traveled along a life size Candy Lane. A week at Give Kids the World was just what he needed.
#83 13 year old Bradley lives in the city of Rochester. In Kindergarten he began having extreme seizures, the quantity of the seizures continued to increase until at the age of 7 he was diagnosed with Rasmussen's disease. After medication and a risky, extreme surgery, the 30-80 seizures a day decreased to the point that Bradley now functions incredibly well, despite his condition. A diagnosis of leukemia at the age of 12 was probably the last thing he and his family wanted to hear. Now in remission, Bradley remembered a trip many years ago to Orlando. He'd like to visit Disney World once again. In February he and his family got that opportunity. When they returned, Bradley's Dad let us know "It was great to see him enjoy himself without having any set backs or doctors. It was sooo relaxing for us all as all the tension was released and we were all at ease for the whole time."
#80 12 year old David, from Brighton, loves watching and playing football. When asked about his favorite team, without hesitations, it's The New England Patriots. David was born with one functioning kidney, one poorly functioning kidney, we should add. Dialysis and a transplant were in his future, but there is a great deal of questions that goes into any thought of a transplant, first and foremost, is there a potential donor? The Dream Factory got to work trying to make arrangements for David to meet his favorite Patriot while his Aunt prepared to give David the gift of a kidney. Although we struggled to make David's dream come true, his transplant surgery was not a struggle, everything went great. As the football season wound down, The Dream Factory turned to David's second choice of a dream- A trip to The Super Bowl. Although the Patriots lost the game, David was able to watch Randy Moss catch a touchdown pass in a game that will go down in history for the competition, the 18-1 season, and the unbelievable Giants win. It was an amazing trip for David. Dream Factory would like to sincerely thank Lynn DeMaria of DeMaria Travel and Joel at Swickets.com for helping fulfill David's dream. Lynn helped us find great accommodations, flights, and a car and Swickets helped us out with the cost of the 3 Super Bowl tickets and upgraded seats that allowed David to be right in line with Randy Moss' touchdown! Both companies would love any business you could toss their way, and let them know The Dream Factory of Rochester sent you!
#71 Michael from Canandaigua was 7 years old when we met him. At that age he could already tell us all about diabetes, what he could eat, when he could eat it, and what he needs to look for on food labels. Every meal, every play date, and every snack he wants to eat needs to be carefully thought out. Although he knew a trip to Orlando and a visit to Disney World wouldn't change the carb counting, it would be a great experience and a lot of fun. He and his family spent a week at Give Kids the World and didn't worry about a thing, it was one of the best weeks the family has had together in a long time.
#69 Carmen was a 6 year old young lady from Seneca Falls when we first met her. She was not even 6 months old when the Doctors were at a loss for what was wrong with her. Her parents were persistent and finally a diagnosis of a foliate deficiency saved her life. Each day is filled with medications and challenges which a young girl shouldn't have to face. To have a dream come true would mean a lot to Carmen. She had heard about Disney World and how wonderful it was in Florida. The Dream Factory was able to make her dream come true. Thanks to the folks at Give Kids the World, Carmen and her family were happy and well taken care of. Although Spanish is the family's primary language, a bi lingual staff member at Give Kids the World was a comfort and an angel each day of their trip.
#68 When Fiona was 4 years old, she was working hard to fight off Neuroblastoma. It's a challenging disease to conquer, but with a lot of love, support, prayers, and the miracle of modern medicines, she seems to be winning the battle. Fiona asked The Dream Factory for a rather unusual dream. She wanted to visit Piglet's House. What do we do when a child's dream involves visiting a fictional location? We make her dream come true!! Fiona and her family traveled to London England where she was able to visit The Hundred Acre Wood. AA Milne created his stories based on a wooded area just outside of London. Thanks to a little magic, and some of Fiona's British relatives, a trip through the woods truly turned out to be a dream come true. Stuffed animals- Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Rabbit, and Lumpy the heffalump all showed up to greet the young girl who was amazed and truly believed the real characters were too shy to come out themselves and instead sent the stuffed animals in their place. It was a dream come true for her entire family.
#67 9 year old Lamont, who lives with hemophilia, he also wanted to go to Disney World. However, his focus was more on Animal Kingdom than the Magic Kingdom. He loves animals and people who take care of them. When we first met Lamont, he spoke about Steve Irwin, the late crocodile hunter. It was his favorite television show. As a special surprise, The Dream Factory contacted Steve Irwin's office and although Mr. Irwin had no plans to visit the US, he sent a box of Crocodile Hunter items, including a letter, an autographed baseball cap, and a book. Just a few weeks after the box arrived, before we were able to present the items to Lamont, Steve Irwin was tragically killed. The items which we had for Lamont suddenly became even more special. At a small party at Cam's NY Pizzeria, we presented Lamont with his tickets and itinerary for his trip to Orlando as well as a one year membership to the Seneca Park Zoo and an incredible gift from the one and only, Crocodile Hunter. We know Lamont will treasure the box of goodies as well as his memories of Give Kids the World and The Animal Kingdom.
#66 Dalton is the only boy in a set of triplets. His smile is contagious and he knows what he likes. His cerebral palsy did not stop him from letting us know how excited he would be to visit Disney World. We even tried asking him he wanted to go someplace else; there was barely a sparkle in his eye until we mentioned Mickey Mouse and Disney. In the end, Dalton, his sisters, and his parents all enjoyed an incredible week at Give Kids the World and experiencing all that Orlando, Florida has to offer.
#65 Katlin learned about The Dream Factory from her neighborhood, Autumn, our first dream recipient. Nearly 7 years later Autumn and her mom still spoke about their trip and our organization. As is frequently the case, Katlin's Down Syndrome comes with numerous complications and challenges. Despite it all, Katlin is full of smiles, kindness, and a willingness to try everything and live life to the fullest. The idea of a trip to Disney World was quite intriguing to her, especially after talking with Autumn. To see the Magic Kingdom for the first time was incredible and her mom could not get over how kind and helpful everyone was. It was an amazing experience for them and they continue to be grateful for all that The Dream Factory did for their family.
#63 Being born premature was the least of Anthony's early challenges. Hydrocephalus and a seizure disorder are the primary challenges which he and his father live with each day. When we met Anthony it was quickly apparent to us that he is a big Mickey Mouse fan. What better choice of a dream could there be? Like so many other Dream Factory children, Anthony went to Give Kids The World, a 70 acre resort in Kissimmee, Florida specifically for children with serious illnesses. Anthony enjoyed his visit to The Magic Kingdom; he posed for pictures with Mickey, went to Universal Studios to see Spiderman, and of course, bought a few new Mickey Mouse t-shirt!
#62 Kiara's lupus seems to have come on fast and furious. The 11 year old from Rochester has been spending a lot of time in the hospital and seems to be losing the special time of just being a child. She asked The Dream Factory for a trip to Disney World and wouldn't let anyone change her mind, no matter what her illness was throwing at her. Her week in Orlando and stay at Give Kids The World was a well learned dream come true. She was able to see it, Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Studios. Although she was back in the hospital soon after her trip, Kiara and her family loved every moment of the trip, and were amazed by all they experienced.
#61 Kyle waited patiently for his dream to come true. We met him when he was 11 years old and living with the daily routine of cystic fibrosis. Just before his 13th birthday Kyle's dream came true. He was able to visit EA Sports, a company just outside of Orlando, Florida that creates his favorite football video game- EA- Madden. Kyle and his family were given the royal treatment on his incredible tour of the facility. He participated in a brainstorming session, contributed a play for the 2008 playbook, lunched with game designers, tested new games for "bugs", and saw how the NASCAR games are created- including the smoke and crashes, he saw how the video is created and the sound put with it. And in the end, the folks at EA threw him a birthday party- complete with cake and gifts! Kyle called The Dream Factory that evening and declared, "This was the best day of my life". As Kyle's illness becomes more challenging we are so happy that we were able to make his dream come true. He certainly has memories for a lifetime and a concrete idea of what he wants to do as a career.
#60 Amanda was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, a debilitating illness that causes severe exhaustion and other extreme symptoms. Amanda was looking to enjoy a vacation, participate in activities when she felt able to, and try to put aside the daily reminders of her illness. A Caribbean Cruise held all the answers, she wouldn't have to travel far, could enjoy all the ship amenities, and participate in shore excursions or shipboard events when she was able to. While still on her cruise, Amanda's sister sent us a note. "Thanks to you (Amanda) is doing something that she did not think that she would be able to do for a long time. You don't know how happy you have made her and how much this trip really means to her. My family called me from the ship the other day
and they are having the time of their lives... Your organization is wonderful and gave my sister something to finally look
forward to...I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart for this vacation. It means the world to me and to my family."
#58 Jacob is all smiles, hugs, and laughter. This delightful 7 year old was born with Down Syndrome and a complicated heart defect, but incredibly, it doesn't seem to slow him down one bit! Jacob is a big fan of Sesame Street and all the Sesame Characters. What better choice of a dream than to visit- Sesame Place, just outside of Philadelphia. Jacob's family trip began with a train ride to Philly included dinner with Big Bird and his friends, a special visit to the newly redesigned Adventure Aquarium, and some tours of historic Philadelphia. Jacob and his family enjoyed every moment of their trip.
#57 At the age of 6 Cadi had already experienced more than a child should. She is living with cerebral palsy and typically has braces by her ankles. Cadi loves Princesses and she only dreamed of meeting some of her heroines in Disney World, a place that she'd only seen in the photos of her mother as a child. Cadi and her Grandparents enjoyed a week in Orlando which not only brought them to all the area attractions, but it included a special dinner as a guest of Cinderella. It was truly an enchanting week for a deserving young lady.
#56 12 year old Aji lives with chronic asthma. It is inevitable that that Aji will end up in the hospital at least once each year due to his illness. He cannot participate in many of the activities which his friends enjoy and as a result it can be quiet frustrating. Aji thought it would be great to go somewhere warm and special, he chose Orlando, Florida. The folks at Give Kids The World were very helpful and kind, as always, and Aji, his mother, and accompanying relatives had a wonderful time at all the area attractions.
#55 Jordan's dream came true when he was 6 years old. Living with Down Syndrome and serious heart complications, he was able to express to us his love for Disney Characters and Bear in The Big Blue House. Jordan's parents had heard about The Dream Factory from their friends who had previously visited Give Kids The World. Just a few months after we met him, Jordan and his large family were off on an adventure of a lifetime. It was a wonderful trip for everyone; the family saw everything and did everything they could possibly fit into a week in Orlando. Although exhausted when they returned, Jordan was as happy as could be and ready to face whatever was tossed his way.
#52 Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura is quite a mouth full for a young girl; simply ITP is a diagnosis of chronic low platelets. Platelets help our blood to clot, without them, a simple fall or injury could be catastrophic. As a result of her illness, 10 year old Emma was required to give up her favorite activity, horseback riding. It was hard for her and she and her family were looking for something positive to hold on to. Along came The Dream Factory and Emma's dream of a trip to Orlando, Florida was about to come true. For years Emma had been saving her money so she could visit The Magic Kingdom, we told her she could put her money away, we would take care of everything! As an added bonus, while visiting Sea World, Emma was able to visit Discovery Cove and swim with the dolphins! It was an incredible experience that she and her family will not soon forget.
#49 As a young child and early teen, Elizabeth was an excellent skater. She performed, she competed, and she loved what she did. But all that changed when she could barely get up in the morning, she was exhausted and suffered from insomnia, fevers, body aches, and what's easiest to refer to as "a brain cloud". A diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease/chronic fatigue, helped, but didn't improve her situation, or her health. Liz has her up days and her down days and hopes she will one day be able to fight off these chronic illnesses. To show her a silver lining, The Dream Factory was able to send Liz and her parents to Aruba for a week. She relaxed on the beach and didn't worry about where she had to be or what she had to accomplish. The week was wonderful time away for everyone.
#47 A Non-metastic osteosarcoma in his leg slowed 18 year old Michael down a bit so he had to think carefully about his dream choice. By taking a cruise, he would have an incredible vacation and not have to move around very much. Everything he needed would be relative close by. He felt a Disney Cruise would be ideal for his family who had stood by him with love and support during his surgery and treatments. It was just what everyone need, the cruise went well, and Michael relaxed, went on a glass bottom boat voyage and enjoyed the time with his family on the ship and on the beaches.
#46 Jennifer introduced The Dream Factory to another rare genetic disorder, Robinow Syndrome. We met Jenna when she was 13 years old and had just been through her 13th surgery. Although a typical teenager, Jenna's disorder affects her skeletal system, her spine, head, eyes, and ears, to name just a few aspects. What she wanted was a vacation to Atlantis and a swim with the dolphins. The Dream Factory sent Jenna and her mom on a Disney Cruise where she was able to do just that. It was "an awesome experience!" Jenna said in a postcard.
#45 A "Dandy Walker Brain Cyst" is rare for a girl to have and it affects Nicole's life in a variety of ways. The idea of going to Disney World was very exciting; it was something her family could not easily. The Dream Factory could and we fulfilled Nicole’s dream. The lights, the characters, the smiles, the shows, it was all wonderful for Nicole and her family; everyone enjoyed themselves at the time and continue to enjoy the memories today.
#43 Matthew and his family knew he was having health issues, but it was a chance visit to the dentist that uncovered the answers. MENS II-B, a very rare disorder which leads to thyroid cancer was not what they were expecting. Matthew, a very smart, articulate 8 year old explained his surgery and treatments and his dream of a Disney Cruise to Eastern Caribbean. After he returned, Matt wrote us and said, "Me and my family loved the cruise, it was a blast." His mother phrased it a little differently, "Giving our family this wonderful vacation gave us the opportunity to forget about all the medical challenges that were presented this year...what a great way to end the year."
#42 "Jonathan" suffered a severe spinal injury after being stuck by a car at the age of 5. Now quadriplegic and ventilator dependent, the big question was, how can we get him to Disney World. After looking into planes, trains, and automobiles, "Jonathan" and his family headed off for the two day drive to Orlando, Florida. It was an experience "Jonathan" will never forget and his whole family was amazed at the wonderful treatment they received from The Dream Factory and the folks at Give Kids The World.
#41 Sha'lyah loves music, colors, and bright bold images. Born very premature and very underweight, a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, seizure disorder and hydrocephalus doesn't seem to discourage this young lady. She continues to strive for the things that most people take for granted, speaking and moving around independently. A trip to Disney World with her large family is something that The Dream Factory was able to provide for her. Sha'lyah is always a pretty happy kid, but during her week in Orlando, "a happy kid" barely describes her state of mind and the joy which her entire family experienced.
#39 The Dream Factory Area Director met Barry at his Doctor's office. It seemed to be one of those, right place at the right time situations. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy and hypocalcaemia, Barry either uses a wheelchair or moves around his home on his knees. When we asked Barry what he would like from The Dream Factory he told us he wanted to go to Universal Studios/Nickelodeon Studios and Disney World. Three months later he and his family were off on an adventure which they will not soon forget.
#38 Angelman's Syndrome is a rare chronic illness which we learned when we met Claire. With a warm hug for her friends, her beautiful blonde hair and brightly lit eyes, Claire charms everyone she encounters. Bright lights, music, and large colorful items attract Claire's attention; where else can all these be found? Disney World. Her family enjoyed the trip, her brother enjoyed the extra attention which he received and everyone came home with memories which will last a lifetime.
#37 Like several other children whose dreams we've fulfilled, Alyssa was born with cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder. What she enjoys most is watching her variety of Disney movies. Alyssa impressed us with her smile and her easy going manner. She and her parents were able to spend some quality time together and had a very enjoyable trip to Disney World.
#35 Katelynn and #36 Henry are siblings in a very large and very wonderful family. Each child, including Katelynn and Henry have a variety of disabilities and health issues. When the family asked for a trip to Disney World, we all knew it would be quite a project. Thanks to the incredible folks at Give Kids The World, Katelyn, Henry and everyone in their family was able to drive down to Orlando, Florida and spend an incredible week going to every park imaginable, experiencing every event, and creating very special memories for everyone involved.
#33 Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy has already put Paul in a wheelchair, but that doesn't seem to stop him and his terrific personality shines through. Paul visited Disney World with his Aunt, and a few other family members. Like other children who have visited Give Kids The World and The Magic Kingdom, the smile was a permanent fixture on his face.
#32 Joseph's cranial abnormality means a simple bump on the head could be extremely dangerous. He loves watching Disney movies and the Disney Channel on television. Joseph and his family were able to enjoy a week in Orlando, Florida where his siblings were treated just as royally as he was. It was a trip they will always remember.
#31 Noah is a young boy who is defying all the odds. Born premature, Noah weighed less than 2 pounds. With any premmie baby there are incredible challenges which the infant and the family needs to overcome. Noah's list was long and included a cyst that covered nearly a quarter of his brain. We went to meet Noah when he was 3 years old and we expected the worst. We were surprised by a smiling, happy, beautiful young boy who opened the door and greeted us warmly. He was running around his house, happy for some new people to entertain. Noah told us that he wanted to go to Mickey's house and we were more than happy to fulfill his dream. Now 6 years old, Noah continues to amaze everyone he meets, his eyes sparkle, his smile shines, and everyone feels honored to have met him.
#29 Nina's illness has a huge complicated name to it; in general her blood cells were being destroyed. Nina had not traveled much and she asked The Dream Factory for a trip to someplace special, Disney World. Nina and her mother enjoyed the trip and the special time away from the Doctors and Hospital visits which had become so routine in their lives.
#28 Zachary was 6 years old when he saw a segment on the news about Alec. Zachary declared to his mother, "That boy has spina bifida and he went to Disney World. I have spina bifida, I want to go to Disney World too!" And so The Dream Factory sent Zachary to Disney World and the smile never once left his face. They met several wonderful families while staying at Give Kids The World and created memories to last a lifetime.
#27 Gabriella was born with Aicardi's Syndrome, a very rare genetic illness. The Dream Factory was able to fulfill Gabby's dream by sending her to Give Kids The World. While she was there, Gabby met all of her favorite characters and the whole family had a wonderful time. Gabby's Grandmother was able to accompany the family on their trip; this allowed her to see the smile on her Grandchild's face in person. It was truly a wonderful week.
#22 Amanda was a quiet, shy 18 year old when we met her. Her world changed when she was diagnosed with chronic severe neutropenia. This young lady, who could have asked for anything, really wanted to go to Disney World with her family, and if possible, she wanted to see the ocean. We were able to fulfill her Disney dream, and although a visit to the beach didn't work out, her family enjoyed the vacation and the special time with Amanda. Amanda passed away less than one year after her trip, we at The Dream Factory are honored that we were able to meet Amanda and help her family create some wonderful memories of a beautiful young girl.
#21 Jackson and his younger brother where both diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy so it was a pleasure to be able to send the whole family to Animal Kingdom, one of the parks in Disney World. The family stayed at the Animal Kingdom resort and was amazed each morning when they would look out their hotel window and see the giraffes wandering around below their balcony. Another highlight for Jackson was going to Universal Studios and meeting his superhero, Spiderman!
#19 At the age of 13, Anthony, born with agenesis of the corpus callusum asked for a trip to Disney World. His daily routine includes intensive therapy and a special vacation was a great reward for all of his hard work. It was a pleasure to send Anthony and his family on a 7 day trip to Give Kids The World; they hit all the parks and had a wonderful trip.
#18 Alec has spina bifida, but to watch him run around the school yard, hanging from the rings in gymnastics class, and chasing his sister around, you'd never know it. But Alec, who was just 3 when we met him, has had several surgeries and has a couple more waiting for him when he gets older. Alec loved the idea of a trip to Disney World, and his family loved the idea of seeing the joy in his face when he saw Mickey Mouse for the first time. When Alec and his family returned from their trip, his Mom became a volunteer for The Dream Factory, she wanted to give a little back to the organization that gave her family so much.
#16 James, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, was 6 years old when we first met him. He was shy, but at the same time, a very active little boy. He loves the Disney characters and asked The Dream Factory for a trip to Orlando, Florida. He and his parents had a wonderful experience at Give Kids The World and were able to enjoy running around the parks before his illness progresses.
# 14 Paulette was 13 and living with cerebral palsy when we first met her. She loved watching all the Disney movies and wanted to visit Disney World. The Dream Factory was able to send Paulette, her parents, and her Grandfather by train to the Magic Kingdom. Although the train ride itself was an adventure, the week at Give Kids The World and the opportunity to meet many of her favorite characters made it worth the ride.
#12 Robby's hypotonia makes every day a challenge for him and his family, but Robby is sweet and mischievous, and no matter what the weather, he does not like having his socks and shoes on! Robby does however, loves the Disney characters and was able to express his interest in meeting some of those folks. After a week long trip to Orlando, Florida in 2002, his Mom, Sister, Grandmother, and Aunts and Uncles continue to support The Dream Factory. While racing at Genesee Speedway in Batavia, NY, Robby's Dad honored us by placing The Dream Factory logo on the hood of his race car. While Rob was zooming around the track, Robby and his family were working hard raffling off one bicycle each week with 100% of the proceeds being donated to The Dream Factory. Robby's Grandmother continues to refer children to our organization, and his family continues to support our efforts. We are very grateful to have met this amazing family.
#11 Nathan's diagnosis of leukodystrophy never stopped his smile from shining. He had a grin on his face and a twinkle in his eye when he let us know his dream. Nathan wanted to go to Disney World; more specifically he wanted to go during the National Cheerleading Competition so he could see all the cheerleaders. We were able to make arrangements with the Rochester Brigade Cheerleaders to attend our family summer picnic and do some cheering for Nathan. He loved it and the cheerleaders were honored to have met him. A few months later Nathan and his family traveled to Orlando Florida for their stay at Give Kids The World. Five months later, Nathan passed away, but his smile remains forever in everyone's hearts.
#10 Bryan's daily battle with cystic fibrosis is not always evident. He's a handsome young guy who always has a smile for you and rarely lets his illness get in his way. Bryan asked The Dream Factory for a trip to Disney World because he knew it was something his whole family would enjoy. After we told Bryan we would be fulfilling his dream, he sent us a note, “Dear Dream Factory, Thank you for letting me go to Disney World. I'm looking forward to meeting Mickey. My sisters are happy too." Today, between "tune ups" at the hospital, Bryan can be found doing all the typical teenage boy stuff and making time to host the annual Cystic Fibrosis gala.
#6 At the age of 8, Heather was living with a brainstem tumor. Although her illness and medications were affecting her life, her personality shined through. Heather and her family were able to visit Orlando, Florida, staying at Give Kids The World, and visiting every area attraction possible. Her photos show how much she enjoyed the week. Since she passed away from her illness, those photos and her family's memories keep Heather's smiling face and nail polished fingernails (always important to a young girl) in everyone's hearts and minds.
#5 Justin was born with cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder which frequently accompanies such a diagnosis. His smiles and hugs light up a room and lit up our hearts. We were able to send Justin and his family to Orlando, Florida for a 7 day trip of a lifetime.
#3 Justin was introduced to us in January 2000; he was, at the time, dealing with lymphoblastic leukemia. Justin asked The Dream Factory if he could visit his Grandparents who spend the winter in Orlando, Florida, and while he's there, maybe he could go to Universal Studios and Disney World. Less than one month after we met Justin, he and his family were on a plane heading for Florida. A thank you note written by Justin's mother said,”We had a week we will remember for the rest of our lives- Thanks to all of you at The Dream Factory."
#2 Ryan was born with complex congenital heart defects. We met him when he was 7 years old and was dreaming of a trip to Disney World. When we asked Ryan, if we couldn't send him to Disney World for some reason, what would be his second choice of a dream? He told us he wanted a hermit crab. Well we were able to fulfill both of Ryan's dreams and presented him with a hermit crab while he waited for his trip to Disney in the fall of 1999. Ryan's mom wrote to us after his trip and said, “We came home from this trip with absolutely wonderful memories. I don't think Ryan and Timmy ever stopped smiling! This trip really allowed them to forget the doctor's appointments, the medicines and all of the other unpleasant things associated with Ryan's illness." Now, nearly 7 years later, Ryan has recently undergone another major heart surgery and is doing well, our thoughts are with him and his family as he continues to gain his health and strength.
#1 Autumn, living with spinal muscular atrophy, was the first child to receive a dream from The Dream Factory of Rochester. We met Autumn when she was a bouncy, smiling 7 year old who wanted nothing more than a trip to Disney World. Her mother wrote to us after their trip and said, "Dream Factory and Give Kids The World...could not have done any more to spoil us or make our vacation more wonderful."