At just 18 months old, Xavier was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease making him more susceptible to lung infections and malnutrition throughout his life. Xavier’s health declined and in the past year, doctors told his family he will likely need a lung transplant.
“The hardest part about cystic fibrosis is that it progresses. Whenever Xavier gets sick, more damage is done to his body, and there are no other repairs but transplants,” said his mom, Sandra. “I constantly worry about him becoming ill.”
It was during this challenging time that a physician referred Xavier to Make-A-Wish Arizona. When visited by his volunteer wish granters to talk about what Xavier would wish for, there was no doubt in his mind what he wished to do.
“I wish to go on a Disney cruise so I can see Mickey Mouse and my whole family can go together!” Xavier said.
Xavier’s wish granters dressed up as Mickey Mouse to surprise him at his birthday party and reveal his wish – to go on a Disney Cruise Line cruise - would be granted.
“His expression was priceless!” said Sandra. ”It was a look of pure excitement; he couldn’t believe his wish was going to be granted.”
With their bags packed and smiles spreading across their faces, Xavier and his family were ready for an adventurous and magical trip.
“The anticipation and excitement before his wish was an amazing time for Xavier,” said Sandra. “And as soon as we stepped on the cruise ship, we were immediately treated like special guests.”
First thing on Xavier’s itinerary was a special excursion - his family was invited to a private party hosted by Mickey Mouse! There was treats, time for pictures, and Mickey even handed Xavier his own signed Mickey Mouse toy.
“It was a gift he instantly treasured,” said Sandra. “Seeing Mickey Mouse was his favorite part of the entire cruise.”
The next day, Xavier went to Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. His family was able to relax on the beach and soak up the sun.
“We went snorkeling and we even saw stingrays!” said Xavier. “I loved exploring everywhere and being out on the water.”
Tons of activities on the ship kept Xavier and his family busy, including mini golf, arcade games and scavenger hunts.
“Playing detective was really fun,” said Xavier. “There were cards I would pick up around the ship that had clues on them so I could solve mysteries.”
According to the family, everything about the wish exceeded their expectations.
“It’s very luxurious! We made friends on the ship who would eat dinner with us and every night when we would get back to our room, the staff on the ship would leave us little treats,” said Sandra. “They eventually knew us so well that they knew all our preferences! They truly went all out to make this a special and unforgettable experience for Xavier.”
Looking back on Xavier's wish, Sandra is so grateful they were able to experience this trip as a family.
“It was really great because we have to keep Xavier cooped up most of the time at home and on the ship we could just let him go free,” said Sandra. “This was one of those times when everything was just perfect and it was the perfect wish for him. Although we brought Xavier’s treatment and medication with us, it was an unbelievably fun escape where we could enjoy ourselves and think about something other than his illness."
“We were all so genuinely happy the entire time,” said Sandra. “Xavier’s wish made a difference.”
Now, three years after his wish, Xavier still holds the memory of his wish very close to his heart.
“To this day, Xavier thinks about his wish all the time and he still doesn’t let anyone else play with his special Mickey Mouse,” Sandra said.