Young Jack has had a rough time dealing with his illness, but a visit by a famous pirate brought a smile to his face.
Jack, 6, lives in the southern Illinois town of St. Elmo. He was diagnosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a rare cancer-like disorder of the immune system. Jack has endured months in chemotherapy, and he is currently searching for a bone marrow donor.
After being referred to Make-A-Wish® Illinois, Jack decided a trip to Disney World would be a great adventure for his whole family. Arriving in a limo to the airport, Jack kicked off his wish with style before flying to Orlando to begin his week of fun.
After arriving in Florida, Jack and his family checked into the Give Kids the World Village, a resort specifically designed for kids with life-threatening medical conditions. From indulging in unlimited ice cream at the Ice Cream Palace to exploring the Amberville Train Station to basking in water fun at the Park of Dreams, Jack loved exploring and participating in all that the Village offered. He and his family continued their fun adventure by visiting the Disney Parks, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios. Jack especially enjoyed meeting all of his favorite characters.
A highlight of the trip was Jack’s meet and greet with Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. He enjoyed receiving tips on starting his own pirate crew and on conquering the high seas. This included a brainstorming session in which Jack decided to name his pirate ship, The Orange Dagger. Also, he learned how to walk like a pirate and even got to wear Captain Sparrow’s hat!
According to Jack’s mom, “This trip was very appreciated and very needed after the year we have had. We can never thank Make-A-Wish enough. We will never forget it.”
This wish gave Jack the chance to see that his swashbuckling dreams can really come true. Even more, it was a wish that his whole family enjoyed and can share with him for years to come.