Five-year-old Red Deerian Ethan has had his wish come true through the Make A Wish Foundation, and will be heading off to Walt Disney World with his mom Jacqueline Fowler this Friday.
Ethan was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in August of 2016, a day that his mom said changed her whole world. “It was just so hard. There were so many ups and downs and it’s just a whole new world living like this,” she said.
Fowler, who is from Red Deer, met the Make A Wish Foundation crew at the Ronald McDonald House in Calgary back in October of 2016, when she and Ethan were living there for 10 months.
“We were living in the Ronald McDonald House for 10 months so we got to meet them because they were volunteering one night to make suppers there, and they explained what Make A Wish was all about and they were saying that Ethan would qualify, so we went from there,” she said.
Make A Wish grants wishes to kids with life-threatening illnesses, and it was this June that Ethan was cleared to get his wish come true of going to Disney World.
He and mom will be heading off this Friday for seven days, and will get access to Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World. They will be staying at Give the Kids The World, a place where sick kids are sent to stay with their families.
Fowler said Ethan is not only excited to meet Mickey Mouse, but for the plane ride, too.
“This will be his first plane ride.”
She said when it was revealed a few weeks ago at a Red Deer McDonald’s that Ethan would be going to Disney World, he was so happy because he finally got to go out in public.
Being immune compromised, Fowler said he didn’t go out a whole lot because of the risk involved in getting sick. She said the McDonald’s Play Place also used to be his favourite place to go before he was diagnosed.
“We used to go there everyday and he would play and he hasn’t been there for a year, so it was quite the day.”
With a love of fairs and superheroes like Spiderman and Batman, his mom said Ethan can’t wait to go on the trip.
“I don’t know if he fully understands it all, but he’s really happy. He’s counting down the days.”
The two returned back to their home in Red Deer’s north end the beginning of June from their stay at the Ronald McDonald House in Calgary. “There were a few times that Ethan got sick, so we couldn’t stay in the Ronald McDonald House or he got hospitalized or we had to come home because he couldn’t stay there.”
She said the journey has been hard, and there’s a fear that always haunts you in a situation like this.
“It just feels like you can’t control anything in your life because this illness just took over his life.”
Ethan is doing really well, she said, and has made it to the maintenance stage now.
He is, however, high risk Leukemia ALL, which means he’s at high risk to relapse, so he has to be kept a watchful eye on.
Once a month they travel to Calgary to get his chemotherapy done and she will also continue to give him oral chemo every night until January 2020, which will be his last treatment.
Fowler said she was very overwhelmed with emotion when they found out he had his wish come true.
“I was just so happy that he finally gets a little bit of his childhood back and he gets to feel special.”