“I wish to go to Disneyland Paris”
4 years old, Kinross
Ezekiel, four, from Kinross in Scotland, was a seemingly healthy baby. But his family later found out that he had been born with a Wilms' tumour – a type of kidney cancer in children.
His mum, Katy, told us that the moment she found out came as a complete shock: “Ezekiel’s diagnosis was straight out the blue. One day, a lump appeared, and he was diagnosed the next day. He went from being fit and healthy, to starting chemo within a week.”
Ezekiel had to have blood thinning injections twice a day, which he hated. He also endured the side effects of chemotherapy, which included awful sickness, because treatment for childhood cancers is often as intense as it is for adults.
His weakened immune system meant he was at great risk of infection, so he had to stop swimming, going to soft play and to his local park. He was most upset when he couldn’t go sledging in the snow either. But when he finally went into remission, Ezekiel could concentrate on planning his wish – and by then he was well enough to travel too!
"It was a whirlwind to be honest. We became obsessed with blood counts and taking his temperature. Out of nowhere the norm changes. You must adapt. When he went into remission, we had to adjust again to a different type of ‘normal’."
First, Ezekiel thought he might like to feed a Triceratops dinosaur. Then he thought he’d prefer to go on loads of rides at a theme park. But after some discussion, he chose for his wish to go to the magical Disneyland Paris!
His sister Isabella, who had helped to look after Ezekiel even at his most poorly, was looking forward to going too, along with Katy and their dad Steve.
A week before their trip a parcel arrived full of Disney goodies and their itinerary for going away. That’s how the children learnt they would soon be going on the wish! It was their first ever holiday as a family and they were so excited.
Ezekiel and his family spent three days enjoying rides, lunch with Disney characters and taking in the sights and sounds while mooching round the whole park.
Katy said: “One of the biggest moments was a moment of realisation: walking back to the hotel, Isabella was skipping ahead, with Ezekiel in tow, both jumping around, ‘fighting’ the bad guys. It was like being back to normality. It was wonderful. We had such good fun. The effort that went in was incredible and having that time for the kids just to be kids and not to have to worry about the normal, the routine, was amazing."
"We would give it all back to have Ezekiel healthy, but it’s so precious to have that silver lining at the end, to have a grand finale."
Ezekiel's wish was funded by the Kentown Wizard Foundation, through the grant they provided to Make-A-Wish UK specifically for Disneyland Paris wishes.
How Ezekiel's wish helped
Katy continued: “A wish isn’t going to cure [seriously ill children], but you can’t underestimate the joy that it can bring. That time out of the norm. Whether it’s going to a theme park or being a policeman for the day. When you’re young, you’re not thinking about big milestones. Ezekiel loved the taxi ride! It's the small things. A big wish is full of small things for little people.”
These days, Ezekiel is “full of trouble” like any other boy his age! He loves dinosaurs, superheroes and playing with the light sabre he bought at the Star Wars shop in Disneyland!
We're thrilled that we were able to create so much joy another little boy and his family.
The Make-A-Wish partnership is part of The Walt Disney Company’s global commitment to deliver comfort and inspiration to families with children facing serious illness. Disney work in partnership Make-A-Wish to help build emotional resilience, leveraging the power of our brand, storytelling and characters to inspire and create Moments that Matter for children and those closet to them when they need it the most.
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Sponsored donations made towards a child’s wish will go towards their One True Wish. If a child’s wish receives over funding the additional donations will be put towards a similar wish. If a child's wish doesn't reach 100% funding their wish will still take place and general funds will be used.