26 Nov Disney World Dreams
We are always excited to help the individuals and families we serve realize their dreams and achieve their goals, even when their circumstances make that difficult. This month, we heard a story that demonstrates just that. Gina was in New Hope’s care for 16 years and was most recently supported through the Supported Living Program. After developing some symptoms, Gina saw a doctor and was diagnosed with terminal cancer which would likely leave her with only three months to live. Her family wanted to make some of her dreams come true in that short amount of time, and within just two weeks of her diagnosis, Gina was surprised with a trip to Disney World!
Along with her sister, Erika, and her New Hope Team Leader, Lauren, Gina enjoyed a long list of firsts in just a few days of vacation. For the first time in her life, Gina rode in a limousine to the airport where she flew on an airplane for the first time. She stayed in a resort hotel where she enjoyed a jacuzzi for the first time. Most importantly, she visited Disney World, the happiest place on earth, for the first time!
Because Gina was always friendly, it didn’t take long for the staff at the park to learn her story. One day while waiting to meet Pocahontas, Gina had an emergency and had to leave the line, disappointed at missing her chance to meet one of her favorite characters. When she returned, she was excited to find that the staff had arranged for her place to be saved in line. Gina was able to meet Pocahontas after all and even spent some time getting to know her! After this interaction, there were surprises all around.
That night at dinner, the staff gave her a hand-written note with a Mickey Mouse Christmas ornament, one of the many things on Gina’s shopping list for the trip! Later that night, another gift was waiting for her at the hotel with another lovely note from the Disney World staff. It truly was a trip to remember!
Sadly, Gina passed away on November 3, 2018. While we grieve the loss of our friend, we remember her friendly demeanor, her bright smile and her love for family. We are so grateful to have been a part of her story and are privileged to serve people like Gina every day.