On September 30th, 2010 our 2 year old Daughter was Diagnosed with ALL ( Actue Lymphoblastic Leukemia). She began treatment the next day, and we spent a week in the hospital to get her treatment going. It was determined that Dryden has some good genetic dispositions that will help increase her survival rate, along with an early diagnosis. Dryden was pronounced in remission by the end of October, 2010. However, once remission is established, children with ALL still have to undergo the complete chemotherapy treatment which will last at least 2 years. Dryden is being treated by the wonderful people at Mary Bridge Childrens Hospital, Pediatric Hemotology/ Oncology clinic.
Several months into her treatment the child life specialist at clinic made me aware that Dryden could have a Make-A-Wish, which was something I did not realize. I always assumed this was something for terminally ill children. Even though we were only a few months into Dryden's treatment at this time, I knew how much of a blessing a Make-A-Wish could be to Dryden and our entire families spirits during this trying time.
Dryden of course being a princess fanatic, immediatly knew she wanted to go meet them, and at what better place than Disneyland!
We showed Dryden some videos of Disneyland to be sure this is really what she wanted, and she was in love.. She could not wait to go!! After several conversations with our Make-A-Wish team, our trip was set up, and Dryden was released to go by her Doctor. Her trip was planned and we were leaving for Disneyland on June 26th, 2011!
Several days before our trip we met up with our wonderful volunteers again, and got all over our information needed for our trip. Drdyen chose she wanted to have dinner at Red Robin, so that is where we went. The Wonderful people at Red Robin in Tacoma, had set up an entire princess table just for her, it was the sweetest thing ever. She had princess balloons and presents all over the table! We had a wonderful dinner, with the Make-A-Wish team, and were set to go in a few days.
On Sunday the 26th a driver came to pick us up, and we were off to the airport! Our Make-A-Wish volunteers met us at the airport and helped us through the airport. Make-A-Wish volunteers are really heaven sent, such wonderful people donating their time, for such a great cause! She helped us to get through the airport quickly, and we were ready to go.
Once on the airplane the wonderful people at Alaska Airlines gave Dryden a backpack full of goodies, and let all of our kids go up into the cockpit and sit in the pilots seat!!!
Dryden in the cockpit of the 747!!! : ) Thank you Alaska Airlines...
The stewardess also let Dryden talk over the loudspeaker and say hello to the plane. : ) Another set of wonderful people we met.
Once we got to the Santa Ana airport, Make-A-Wish had a van rented for us. So, we retrieved that and headed for our hotel. We had reservations booked at the Paradise Pier hotel, one of the Disneyland Hotels. : )
We had two rooms conjoined that looked like this, so fun and cute! Wonderfully soft beds, clean rooms, great view, awesome pool. This was an awesome hotel to stay at! Thank you once again Make-A-Wish!!
Our rooms overlooked California Adventure, so at night we were able to watch the entire World of Color show. It was so spectacular! Dryden loved it. She also loved the Princess bedtime stories that were played on the hotel t.v. each night. The first night we went out to dinner at a fun buffet in Anaheim, and the kids all went swimming.
This is the fun statue, right as you enter the lobby of the Paradise Pier. : )
The next morning we got up and got ready to head out to Disneyland. The plan for today was to have breakfast with the princesses at Ariels Grotto inside California Adventure, and then head over to Disneyland to meet with snow white.
I highly recommend that anyone with little girls makes a reservation at this restaurant! They served really yummy food, and you get to meet a lot of the princesses. First Dryden got to have a private meet with Ariel, "all guests get to do this", then we had a delicous meal. Next, Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Princess Minnie all came out and went to each table to say hi, take pictures, and give autographs. Dryden was SOOO excited, to say the least!
Dryden got more and more excited as each princess came to our table. Our boys were shy though, and wanted nothing to do with the princesses. HA!
Next, we head over to Disneyland. We got into the park, and then found the Make-A-Wish lounge. The Make-A-Wish lounge is a really nice room setup for families to go and rest in, get drinks, or just cool down while at the park. The guy in there was so nice, it was a beautiful room, with a fridge and couches and a large tv, so the kids could relax for a bit. We ended up going back there later to eat our lunch. While there the guy that was monitoring the room told us where we need to go for Dryden's Snow White meet up. So we headed off to Fantasy Land to find her.
Dryden got to go back behind their story telling theater, meet with Princess Snow White, and take pictures with her. What an exciting thing for her!
We spent the remainder of the day doing rides, and looking for fun gifts to buy. Dryden loved every minute of it.
The next day we got up early, and went back to Disneyland to finish up the rides we didn't make it on the first day. We spent the entire day between the two parks. Some of the rides Dryden loved were, Its a Small World, Dumbo, Teacups, The Merry-Go-Round, Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk through, and several others.
On our 3rd play day we went to Universal Studios, which was another part of our trip planned by Make-A-Wish. The people at Universal Studios were so sweet. Each cast memember we met, spent extra time with Dryden, and did little things to make her feel special. It was so wonderful. Dryden loved Universal Studios she got to meet and take pictures with, Bart and Homer from the Simpsons, Dora, Diego (who picked her flowers), Curious George, Winnie Woodpecker (who found paper and gave her autograph), Woody Woodpecker, Scooby doo, and some other cast members.
On our come home day we were free to do what we wanted, we got up slow went and ate at one of our favorite fast food restaurants in California, and then went to the Santa Ana zoo. That zoo was so peaceful and beautiful and a nice calm, relaxing ending to Dryden's trip.
Dryden was very sad it was over, and wanted to stay and live with the princesses. We have been home for several days now, and she can't stop talking about the princesses. She had such a wonderful time as did the rest of our family. Make-A-Wish, Disneyland, Paradise Pier, Red Robin, Universal Studios, Alaska Airlines, and anyone and everyone else who helped make this trip possible for Dryden, and our family we are so grateful. It was such a blessing, and may the lord bless all you for the wonderful things you do for children/people. This trip was a once in a lifetime experience, it would never of been the same if we visited on our own, it was such a wonderful experience that neither Dryden, or our family will ever forget! Thank you so much from our family!