Six-year-old Wish Child Willem loves toy trains, chicken teriyaki wings and all things SpongeBob Square Pants! But when a life-threatening illness dampened his spirits, making every day a challenge for him and his family, a special wish brought him strength and hope when he needed it most. In March 2012, we granted Willem his one true, heartfelt wish — to go with his family on a Disney Cruise!
Wish Granters Lynn and Fran declared “excitement radiated from Willem” when they met with him and his family to deliver their itinerary. Will beamed with joy as he learned the details about his upcoming experience of a lifetime.
With bags all packed, the family set about on their adventure, starting with a stretch limo pickup from their home in Montgomery, NY. Once in Florida and aboard their cruise, Wish Parents Walter and Claire, along with Willem and his siblings Ethan, Evan, Owen and Cecilia, could share precious time together. Unlike their hectic, stressful schedules back home, their only agenda item on this trip: meet up with Mickey, Minnie and Donald Duck! The family also visited some stunning ports, including Grand Cayman, Cosumel and Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island resort in the Caribbean. Beautiful island sights together with the calming sounds of ocean waves and refreshing breezes greeted them at every turn.
Willem’s Disney Cruise was not only a wonderful experience for him and his family but also a particularly special event for our Chapter. This trip marked the 2,000th wish granted by Make-A-Wish® Hudson Valley. Over the past 27 years, Make-A-Wish has been granting wishes to children with life threatening illnesses and bringing strength, hope and joy to enrich the human experience.