Austin, a 12-year-old cancer survivor, had no idea about Make-A-Wish until he happened to head to a drag race.
“We went to the [NHRA] drag race, and there was a Make-A-Wish car with stars on it that was competing,” said Austin. “We went over to look at the car and my mom said that Make-A-Wish was for kids like me, kids with cancer."
“So I said, ‘Let’s do it!’” he continued.
Shortly thereafter, Austin was visited by two volunteer wish granters, Karen and Suzanne, but he had already decided what his wish would be.
“I went on the internet and saw videos of some of the wishes and I remember going to Disneyland® as a little kid and I love the Tower of Terror so I decided I wanted to go to Walt Disney World® for my wish,” said Austin. He had researched the parks and Florida and totally knew exactly what he wanted his wish to look like."
“I love the Tower of Terror and getting wet and dolphins so I wanted all of that,” said Austin.
And he received all of that and more.
Austin and his family spent days riding rides and enjoying the parks of Disney, especially Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
“My family really enjoyed Hollywood Studios, especially my little brother and little sister,” said Austin. “They even liked the Tower of Terror – it was the first ride we went on!”
After Tower of Terror, Austin and his family’s second favorite was Space Mountain but the water rides, like Splash Mountain and Kali River Rapids were also a big hit.
“I didn’t know Splash Mountain would get you so wet but it was awesome,” he continued.
After Disney, Austin also had a great time at SeaWorld, where he rode more rides and visited with the dolphins that were on his initial list. Then it was on to Universal Studios, where he rode more rides and got lots of souvenirs.
“It was a really fun trip,” he said. “We woke up every morning and went to the parks to ride as many rides as possible and had fun and hung out together. My family loved it too."
“It’s so great that you do this for kids who are sick because, even though people might not know we are sick, they are helping to make our wish come true,” Austin continued. “It’s better than medicine because it is making kids like me happy.”