At the age of 6, wish kid Jeremy has already been through quite a bit. Born with a genetic condition that affects his heart and lungs, DiGeorge Syndrome, Jeremy required open heart surgery every six months until he had his last "complete repair" surgery when he was 2 years old.
"The repair surgery will have to be redone as Jeremy grows, but at least now he has fewer long-term hospital stays," explained Estera, Jeremy's mother.
As the youngest in a family of six, with a twin brother, Jeremy's out of state biannual surgery hospitalizations forced his family to be separated for large parts of the year.
"It was especially hard because we were apart during a lot of major holidays," said Estera, who started to hear Jeremy talk about his wishes after his sixth birthday.
"He started making comments like, ‘I wish to go here’ or ‘I wish I could do this,’ and I wanted to help him have the positive experience he envisioned,” she said.
With all the time Jeremy had been in the hospital, Estera knew about Make-A-Wish, so she reached out to help fulfill her child's one true wish.
And Jeremy was very decisive.
While talking with his volunteer wish granters, Jeremy knew right away that he wanted to go to Disneyland to see the characters from his favorite movie, Cars. The thought of meeting his favorite characters, Lightning McQueen and Mater, lifted Jeremy's spirits and gave the whole family a trip to look forward to.
Once his family set off to Disneyland, Jeremy loved experiencing the park and all the fun attractions.
"The parade was the best part, he was able to see all the Disney characters in one night," said Estera.
And throughout the park, Jeremy also had the opportunity to meet many of the Disney characters. He was a little timid for most of the meet and greets, keeping his distance, but he eventually warmed up to his favorites, Mater and Lightning McQueen.
Jeremy even had a special visit from a few more Cars characters at their dinner in Radiator Springs.
"I got to meet the blue car!" exclaimed Jeremy with excitement.
"This wish was so important,” said Estera. “To have family time after going through so much separation through the years made the wish special for all of us who were affected by Jeremy's condition. It was amazing since a trip like this was out of reach for us to do by ourselves."
Most of all, Jeremy's family was excited and eager to get away from their daily routine.
"We are so thankful the kids could enjoy the good times after going through the bad," said Estera. "Because you can't openly see his condition, people usually aren't aware of the extent of Jeremy’s medical journey, so it was touching to see the staff be so accommodating and treat Jeremy so well."
Overall, Disneyland was the perfect wish for Jeremy and ended up being the perfect family getaway for an entire family who had been through so much together.