Miles is a very special little boy that hasn’t let the challenges that he’s faced since he was born take away his happiness, humor, or his beautiful smile that can light up a room. Miles also loves all things Mickey Mouse and if you ask him to choose a favorite character he can’t because he loves them all; Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Daisy, Donald…
While Miles was on dialysis at Lurie Children’s Hospital for a rare kidney disease he was born with, a social worker connected his family to Make-A-Wish Illinois. After both a liver and kidney transplant, a wish was an important addition to his overall treatment.
When kids, like Miles, are battling a critical illness, so much of a normal childhood is taken away from them — it is exhausting, both emotionally and physically. A wish is something that gives kids the opportunity to look outside their illness — it restores a sense of childhood back to the child and normalcy back to the family.
About a year ago, Miles was watching the Disney Christmas Special on television and when he saw the castle at Magic Kingdom for the first time he was awestruck. In fact, his mom said that “he was glued to the TV and couldn’t get enough of Mickey and his pals.”
Miles knew he wanted to go see that castle and meet all of the characters. He had so much joy as he experienced his first plane ride, his first time on a roller coaster, and his first real vacation. But his favorite part of his wish was meeting all of the characters and two rides in particular; the Slinky Dog Dash at Hollywood Studios and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom.
“I think he rode each of those rides about a dozen times. It was so much fun,” his mom told us.
“The last four years have been so chaotic - in addition to Miles’s medical situation — dialysis for 2.5 years, a liver transplant and then a year later, a kidney transplant — my husband Ryan (Miles’s Dad) was also going through chemo throughout that entire time and passed away in January last year. I expected this trip to bring Miles a lot of joy, but I didn’t anticipate the amount of joy it’d bring me too. It did my momma heart so good to see the magic of Disney through Miles’s eyes. It truly was such a special trip,” Miles’ mom told us.
Even though some time has passed, Miles still talks to his mom about the wish daily. He’s always asking to look at the pictures and videos that they took and while also asking when he can go back!
“It truly was the trip of a lifetime and it was such a special experience,” his mom said.
Miles now goes to preschool three days a week and is learning and growing so much. He has regular appointments at the hospital to make sure his transplanted liver and kidney are working as they should, but otherwise, he spends minimal time at the hospital compared to the earlier days of his life when dialysis was a near daily occurrence, and hospital admissions, sometimes up to six weeks at a time, happened frequently.
“We are so thankful for his organ donors and all of the medical professionals at Lurie Children’s Hospital that played a role in getting him to the point where he’s at today. And we are so grateful for Make-A-Wish and the opportunity it gave Miles to be a kid and have the time of his little life,” his mom said.