Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Give Kids the World

This is my last Disney post, I promise!  I just wanted to be sure to write about the place we stayed because it was top notch. :)
We stayed at a place called Give Kids the World, which is exclusively for Make-A-Wish kids and their families.  It was such a great, great place!  They assign you little villas with a couple of bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, living room, washer and dryer.  You get three meals a day if you want them, unlimited ice cream, a pool, arcade, a couple of rides and a different theme every night (Christmas, pool party, etc.).  They really go above and beyond to accommodate all families and give you as much of a vacation as they can.
There are a ton of volunteers that make the place go.  I don’t think I saw the same volunteer twice.  The very first morning we were there a gentlemen from Owatonna, MN stopped by our table and said this, “I know you parents tell your kids that they are special, but when is the last time somebody told you adults that you’re special?  For everything you do and everything you sacrifice.”
That was all it took and I was blinking back tears.  That meant so much to me; I just can’t even say and started our trip out on the right foot.
 The Give Kids the World Village (GKTW) just got to me.  It was kind of, I don’t know what the word it, comforting maybe, to be able to draw up your kid’s meds at a meal and nobody looks at you funny or wonders what you are doing.  Everybody else has to do it too.
 It was kind of like being in a hospital sort of environment in that you got to see kids with all sorts of different stuff going on out and about.  But, this was so much better because it was a fun place that kids and their families actually wanted to be.
 It was also a good reality check as these things tend to be.  I saw numerous kiddos in wheelchairs.  I saw a couple of kids that had to be kept flat on their back and were unable to move around that were hooked-up to what looked like a breathing machine of some kind.  It broke my heart.  Now don’t get me wrong, GKTW accommodates these kids the best they can with options for the water and making things handicap accessible, but I don’t know, it was just hard, especially for those kids hooked-up to the machines laying flat. 

 I looked at them and then I looked at my child; my amazing little Blake who has been through so much in his few short years.  Who beat the odds at birth, who did well on dialysis, who received an awesome kidney, who kept fighting even when that blood infection almost took his life, who has done and continues to do the things that doctors said he couldn’t do or wouldn’t be able to do.  But, there he was.  Running, jumping, laughing and doing everything his siblings were doing. 
Yeah, this situation isn’t ideal and it never has been.  But you know what?  We are pretty lucky and I was reminded just how much on this trip.
(These character pics were three of my favorites taken at Hollywood Studios, so I wanted to include them.  Hollywood Studios was awesome!!) 
Blake got one wish and it was full-filled.  We can’t say enough thanks to Make-A-Wish Iowa for coordinating everything for us.  It was a week of quality time together, long fun-filled days, laughter and a whole lot of memories made for our family and for that I will always be grateful!!

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