Takeaway Thoughts from Disney

I’m still at a loss for words nearly a week removed from my first trip to Disney World with the Mercer County Chapter of the Sunshine Foundation.

With that in mind, I’ll defer to Susan Fanning, the trips photographer and board member of the Sunshine Foundation, to summarize the experience.

The day is absolute joy, upsetting, nerve-wracking, fun, and worth it.

“The day,” provides 100 disabled, chronically ill, abused, and grief stricken children with a trip to Disney World.

(Sunshine Foundation children left and center, Susan Fanning right)

Any problems in my life, once perceived as big issues, have ceased to exist since attending this trip. Seeing children like Jason Stock, an eight-year-old with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, filled with jubilation is something I will never forget.

“This trip is absolutely amazing,”  Megan Stock, Jason’s mother, said. “I get to see him smile and enjoy a day like an average eight year old should be doing.”

Susan Fanning believes children like Jason have joyful experiences because of the work Cathy DiCostanzo, President of the Sunshine Foundation Mercer County Chapter, puts in.

“Her wish is our command,” Fanning said. “We follow her lead because we all know what will come to fruition.”

What comes to fruition is smiles on Jason’s, and 99 other children’s faces.

These kids have such tough lives,” DiCostanzo explained. “They light up during this trip and are filled with sunshine for one day.

Despite the magic of the event, DiCostanzo selflessly wishes the Sunshine Foundation ceased to exist.

“I wish Sunshine could go out of business, it would mean no kid would be sick.”

The harsh reality is kids like Jason do exist. Fortunately, there are people like Susan Fanning and Cathy DiCostanzo there to help.