This topic hits home for me and my family. For those of you who donít know our youngest daughter, Peyton age 9, was born with Adult Polycystic Kidney Disease (http://www.pkdcure.org), and will eventually need a kidney transplant. The good news is that hopefully she will be able to make it to adulthood before that time comes.
She looks normal, acts normal, and can do most things that other kids her age can do. With that being said, it amazes people when we tell them about her condition because they expect to be able to see physical signs. She does have some limitations, because of her condition that most healthy nine year olds do not have. She cannot participate in activities that are physical in nature. This eliminates her ability to ride some rides at Walt Disney World such as Space Mountain, or Primeval Whirl.
The disease also causes her to have high blood pressure and because of this she cannot ride attractions such as Rock Ní Rollercoaster or Tower of Terror. She also cannot stand in lines for a long period of time, as she will get more fatigued than the average child, nor be in direct sunlight for long periods of time as well. We were told by a Disney Cast Member that she would be able to obtain a Guest Assistance Pass because of her condition, which would eliminate her need to wait in exuberantly long lines, or standing outside in the sun for long periods of time.
As you can imagine, when we use this card, many guests will give us a rude look, or make comments such as "why are they getting to cut?" They look at Peyton and see a little girl who appears healthy. They do not know her true condition. I can say that I have looked at others and made a comment that maybe they arenít as incapable as they are appearing just so they can get closer to the front of a line. But after seeing firsthand what has occurred with my daughter, I have re-thought my position and ways of thinking. I donít know what condition someone else has.
I guess that when most of us think about disabilities we think of things that you can see, not realizing that there are many other conditions that may require special needs that are not visible. The good thing is that most people at WDW are simply there to have a good time, relax, and donít concern themselves with worrying about things such as this. As we are approaching our next trip to WDW in a few weeks, we know that regardless of what others say, we will live each day to the fullest because we know that nothing is guaranteed.
I would like to hear your thoughts about this and if you have any experiences in dealing with this subject.