Wade is a huge Harry Potter fan, so when his mom, Melinda, read about a new attraction opening, the family started thinking about a trip to Florida. But it wasn’t long afterwards that Wade complained of pain in his lower back. Concerned, his parents took him to the ER where doctors suggested that Wade might have Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (A.L.L.). Two days later, the diagnosis was confirmed, and all thoughts of a vacation faded to the background.
Since his diagnosis over two years ago, ten-year old Wade has had daily treatments at home and monthly hospital visits for further care. This routine is set to continue for a while yet. Nevertheless, Wade is “feeling good and handling his treatments really well,” says Melinda. “He’s a really down-to-earth kid.”
Wade “always has one or two books on the go” but the Harry Potter books are firm favourites and choosing his wish was easy – a trip to the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. He and his family were going to have their holiday after all.
Unknown to Wade or his parents, there was a huge surprise in store. When they arrived for a special preview tour, several of the Harry Potter movie actors were there to greet them. “Meeting the actors was probably the best part,” says Wade, “and Daniel Radcliffe [who plays Harry] was my favourite.” Melinda recalls how Wade was “shy at first, but the actors were wonderful.”
For Wade, the week-long trip was a dream come true and he “can’t wait to go back”. “It was more than we can ever have expected,” Melinda follows. “It was just amazing and truly a blessing for us as a family.”