“If I could feel like a kid again, even if just for a moment…” said Barbara (67) of Phillipsburg, NJ, explaining why going to Disney World was her wish of a lifetime. Barbara is currently living with Alzheimer’s, which can make it difficult for her to recall things. Over the past few years Barbara has not had the desire to leave the house very often, which is why her request to go to Disney World came as bit of a shock to the rest of the family.
“She has made no mention of traveling at all within the past 1 1/2 years. We are often lucky if we can get her out of the house to go to the grocery store. But nearly daily, all she talks about is another trip to Disney with her granddaughters. She doesn’t even care if she has to be pushed in a wheelchair…she just wants to be on Main Street USA one more time with her family,” said her daughter Suzanne.
Disney has been a large influence in Barbara’s life—she grew up watching Disney movies and vividly remembers when Disney World first opened in 1971. When she saw the iconic “Disney Castle” she knew this was a location she absolutely needed to visit. Over the years Barbara was able to visit Disney World a few times, and it has been about 6 years since she last visited. However, during all of her visits she had never had the opportunity to stand with Mickey herself, she explained to her family. To have a picture with the famous mouse and her family would absolutely mean the world to her, and the trip would allow the entire family to create memories together.
Wish of a Lifetime made Barbara’s wish a reality by allowing her and her husband, Bruce, to go with the rest of their family to Disney World on July 4, 2016. Barbara counted down the days until the trip, and once they arrived a smile never left her face. “This wish did’t just benefit my mom’s future; this wish has impacted the lives of all 6 of us,” said Suzanne. Though Barbara lives with a memory impairment, she still fondly recounts the memories she made on her trip.
Photography credits: Kevin Davis with “Photos by Kevin Davis”