Thank you so much to Suzanne Shaffer for sharing this incredible story with us. Her post is part of my continuing series of Twitter friends’ favorite Disney stories to celebrate my own families vacation this year.
“When my children were in high school, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since my mother died from the disease, we all expected that it would eventually overcome me as well. My family braced for the worst and I began the treatment: surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. It was a long two years, and in the midst of it all my son joined the Marine Corps right out of high school. He was scheduled to leave for boot camp in September after his graduation and I was still having chemotherapy treatments. With my doctor’s approval, we scheduled a family vacation between treatments and headed off to Walt Disney World in Florida.
We spared no expense since we felt this could possibly be our last family vacation together. We stayed on the property at a Disney hotel, purchased the full dining package and park hopper passes. We got up early every day to get in the extra hours before the park opened to the public; and stayed late until the park closed every night. It was one of those weeks that you wish you could freeze in time. Our kids were teenagers and we all enjoyed the rides together as a family—experiencing the Haunted House, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Alien Adventure, the evening firework shows, and dinner in Cinderella’s castle.
But for me, the defining moment happened during the Electrical parade down Main Street one afternoon. We were all standing outside a candy shop, the four of us, together and happy. I was in the back, with the kids up front and my husband standing next to them. I realized that this was my one perfect moment: our family together at Disney enjoying the magic and the joy together. I froze the looks on their faces in my mind and realized that right then, there was nothing that could touch the love that we all had for each other and the happiness that this vacation brought our family. We forgot about cancer, the treatments, and the future. We were all transported to a magical world where happiness was the order of the day and dreams really do come true if you believe—and they did!”
Please check out Suzanne’s site Parents Countdown to College Couch.