For Jacob, there is only one person in the world that he loves more than his family and friends and that “person” is Mickey Mouse.
“He’s obsessed with Mickey Mouse,” says Jacob’s mom Diane. “Everything is Mickey Mouse.”
It was no surprise to Diane that, when talking with his wish granter volunteers Logan, Casey and Arin, Jacob focused his wish on meeting Mickey Mouse. However, his wish had a twist. Due to his condition, Jacob tired easily and can’t go on rides so the theme parks were not going to give Jacob the best possible wish experience, but that wasn’t stopping Jacob from meeting his future new best friend.
“He said that he wanted to go on the Mickey boat really, really bad but that he wanted to wait until he was five because then, he wouldn’t be afraid,” Diane shares about Jacob’s one true wish. “The wish granters met with us just after his 4th birthday and, sure enough, we were on the ship just two weeks before his 5th birthday celebration.
The cruise experience was perfect for the entire family, Diane said. Not only did mom Diane and dad Brian go along, but sister Samantha was able to have a great time as well. Diane says that Jacob was treated like a celebrity for the entire trip, from his first steps onto the Southwest Airlines plane, where he was introduced to the captain and given a short private tour by the flight attendants, to the special gifts left in the family’s room by the crew, and including all the positive attention and support from the new friends they made on the ship – this was a wish experience that was above and beyond anything the family had considered.
Most importantly, Jacob was able to meet his friend Mickey Mouse and, even though he wasn’t yet 5-years-old, he wasn’t scared at all.
“When I saw Mickey, I said, ‘I love you,’” said Jacob. Jacob and six other Make-A-Wish families from around the country had a private party with Mickey and some of the other characters. In addition, on Castaway Key, the Disney private island, Jacob was able to meet Donald Duck too.
“Three families stepped aside so that Jacob could meet Donald first,” said Diane. “Everyone was so generous and friendly, they were so happy to see us having a good time. I can’t tell you what that meant to me and to our family.”
Since the family returned from the wish, Jacob has grown dramatically, said Diane. “He was very shy, but came out of his shell for the characters and ever since, he has been more outgoing, and talks with people more easily.”
This came in handy when Jacob was honored by Zipp’s, who raised the funds to sponsor Jacob’s wish. The family celebrated with the Zipp’s servers, leaders and even customers, with Jacob as the star of the evening.
“The impact this wish has had on Jacob is immeasurable,” said Diane. “His personality has blossomed, he reaches out to talk with people and is so much more engaged. This wish really made a difference, for him and for our whole family.”