From the moment six-year-old Elijah saw a Disney on Ice show, he knew he wanted to meet Peter Pan. Just like the iconic Disney character, Elijah is a fun and energetic young boy. However, Elijah battles a nemesis even worse than the evil Captain Hook.
Every day, Elijah lives with a life-threatening blood disease, a condition in which irregularly shaped red blood cells deliver less oxygen to the body.
Elijah’s illness has been difficult for him, both physically and emotionally. On top of the pain and fatigue, his mother explains in an interview with Cincinnati's 105.1 FM (B105) how “He learned he was a little bit different and it took a toll on him.” Despite these setbacks, Elijah has not let his condition weaken his determination or love for life.
Elijah’s one true wish was granted when he and his family traveled to Walt Disney World® Resort. They played put put golf, ate lots of ice cream, and even hung out with super heroes. The trip gave the family special time together that they would not have otherwise had. “We've never been able to go on vacation before because he’s always been in the hospital,” Elijah’s mom explained on the radio.
When the moment Elijah had been waiting for finally became a reality, it was even better than he imagined. Elijah not only met Peter Pan, but also got to play checkers and color with him! Describing the scene when Elijah first met his hero, Elijah’s mother said to B105 listeners, “Elijah’s pretty talkative, and that’s the first time I've ever seen him standing there just speechless.”
Elijah’s wish allowed him and his family to be in their own Never Never Land, temporarily escaping the countless tests and medical treatments that have become their routine. “Every child needs to experience Disney World, just to see a happy place and not have to deal with being in the hospital all the time,” said Elijah’s mother in the radio interview.
Since his trip, Elijah has gotten the chance to inspire others to help make wishes like his come true. As the Honorary Wish Child for the 2012 Cincinnati Walk for Wishes, Elijah supported Make-A-Wish® and showed the world just how much his wish meant to him.
Elijah’s wish come true provided him and his family with joyful memories to cherish for a lifetime. In fact, he shared with B105 listeners that the day he met Peter Pan was “The best day ever!”