when my nephew was two, doctors discovered he had a cancerous brain tumor and he immediately underwent surgery and was put through over two years of chemotherapy. during that time, he was unable to go to many public places, such as theme parks or pools. it was hard to explain to a young child going through so much already that he wasn't allowed to do things his friends and relatives were doing. it was even more painful to watch him see the advertisements for carsland (cars is his favorite movie) and realize that was yet another thing he couldn't do.
then, the wonderful news came: he was being taken off chemo and his port was being removed. we immediately started planning a family trip to disneyland.
we tried to make it a surprise, but as soon as we pulled up to the garage he said, "wait...that's goofy on the wall. this whole place is goofy......i think this is disneyland." he's just too smart for his own good
it was really a wonderful three days. we went on pirates more times than i can count, he was spoiled with gifts, he took his picture with mcqueen, and, after a four hour wait, rode the racers he so desperately wanted to ride. we watched the parade in california adventure and the army guys danced with him and he split a mickey pretzel with me (my favorite food to get) as we watched the parade through disneyland.
when my sister was at the store, getting ears made for him, the lady asked what brought us to disneyland. upon telling the story of his sickness and this being all he wanted for so long, the lady was absolutely wonderful and gave her an "i'm celebrating" button and made a pass with my nephew's name on it to get him to the front of the line on pirates (his favorite ride...one of many, of course). he loved feeling special and getting to hand that pass to the cast member and even slyly said, pointing to all of us, "and they're with me." what a ham!
there's too many amazing pictures from such a magical trip, but this is my favorite. it was taken at the end of the first day after we rode the tram back. he fell asleep immediately after exiting the gates, and you can see just a hint of a smile on his face.