If you’re a Disney geek, you’ve probably seen this article before. But even if you haven’t and even if you’re not certifiable geek, this one shows there are good people in the world. Not enough, unfortunately, as I’ve been shown way too much lately. I originally saw this on a web forum called “The Clubhouse”; it was posted by Mike Scopa with the title “This is Why Walt Was Born” on Feb 17, 2005. It touched me so much that I’ve never forgotten it. I applaud the cast members (employees), especially the woman playing Cinderella, who had the courage to do this without breaking into tears. I wonder if I could have; I like to think I could. And it goes to show, even in a job that some people would call ridiculous and even this woman must have wondered if she’s doing anything with her life, she changed the world for one family.
Get out the tissues, people. This is a heart wrencher.
As told by a Walt Disney World cast member. Appropriate name changes were made for security and privacy issues.
Last night around 6:30pm, I received a radio call from West and Control asking me to call Security immediately. I spoke to B. who told me about a situation at Orlando Regional Medical Center that he thought we could assist with. A Make-A-Wish family, the C.’s, arrived from NY Wed. January 12th at 4pm, and instead of settling into the Give Kids the World Village, went to the hospital because their youngest daughter, H., was having complications from her cancer treatments. Six-year-old H.’s wish was to meet Cinderella, and the hospital said she would not likely live through the night, so B. asked if Cinderella could go to her.
Within 15 minutes of receiving the call, Cinderella and I were in a borrowed Resorts van on our way to Orlando Regional, but it was not without some quick teamwork. J., the Toontown Mid Manager stayed to close last night so that I could accompany Cinderella to the hospital.
K., Assistant Nurse Manager, Emergency Services, had arranged her team of nurses and technicians to make our entry into Orlando Regional’s Emergency Room flawless. She met our van in the ambulance bay with four other medical staff, escorted us through the adults only waiting room, and into a private room they had arranged for the C’s family’s meet-and-greet.
H.was in a small bed surrounded by her family, D. and R. (Mom and Dad), big sister S. (age 18 ), and big brothers M. (age 16) and J. (age 8). Though the parents knew we were coming, they still seemed amazed that we were actually there. In his amazement, Dad asked, “Did you fly here?”, and quite earnestly Cinderella replied, “You’d be shocked to see how fast a pumpkin coach can go!”.
The family took photos until H. asked us to stop. (Because of her cancer, she is very sensitive to both bright lights and loud noises.) Cinderella was perfect in every way. At one point, H. had a nurse giving her pain medication through a tube in her stomach and a technician attaching a heart monitor to her toe, and the whole time Cinderella stroked her hand and said, “Does that tickle your toes? My cat Lucifer tickles my toes with his whiskers. Have you got any cats at home?” Yes, H. was still extremely uncomfortable, but she was able to relate her cat at home to Cinderella’s cat from the movie just long enough for the nurse to finish administering the medicine.
H. was never able to sit up and give Cinderella a hug, and she opened her eyes less than 5 times the entire time we were there, but she knew that Cinderella left her castle to visit her. She mentioned several times that if she felt better, she would come visit Cinderella in the Park. We knew it was time to leave when H. said, “Mom, can you turn the movie off now?”. The pain medication was making her sleepy and slightly delirious, so she thought that they were watching the movie, “Cinderella”.
Our surprise visit went smoothly, especially for something done with very little notice. As we were leaving, H.’s dad tapped my arm and said that he could be a little more at peace with her passing now that he knew as a father, he made his little girl’s wish come true. As heart wrenching as this was, I left that hospital with a grand sense of pride last night.There is no other job or company where I could be a part of such magic. What a gift!