We hear from families countless times that what we do at Sunshine is more than the Dream itself. It inspires and ignites a beautiful change in kids and their families.
The Sunshine Foundation of Canada has two dream programs: Sunshine Individual Dreams and Sunshine DreamLifts. Once approved for his or her Sunshine Dream, we start by getting to know the child and family to customize a dream experience unique to their needs and playful imagination.
Sunshine Individual Dreams give families the opportunity to be involved in the exciting and inspiring experience of bringing their child’s dream to life while overcoming some past or current challenges associated with their physical disability or life-threatening illness. It’s a chance to reconnect together as a family and create special memories. For some Sunshine children, their dream is not only a once in a life time experience, but also a chance to have a fun experience with his or her siblings. Sunshine Dreams range from family trips, meeting a special hero, attending a special event, adapted sports equipment, room design and more. The possibilities are endless.
AJ's mom, Arlene explains the impact of her son’s Sunshine Individual Dream:
“It doesn’t stop in just sending us off to our child’s dream destination, but you really cared for our little one by making sure he is safe and really enjoying the trip as you checked up on our family until our return home. We will not forget that when our son unfortunately had an emergency fracture during the trip, Sunshine found a wheelchair and ensured that the specifications were fitted for him. We didn't have to worry as everything was well-coordinated, that even when we transferred to another hotel, another mobility device was there waiting for us already. BIG THANK YOU to Sunshine Foundation and all your big-hearted supporters that continue your visions and work.”
Gregory's mom tells Sunshine about the change she has seen since his Sunshine Individual Dream:
For a child who told me a few years ago, “I’m used to getting bad news,” (namely referring to what the doctors tell him), having his dream of going to Walt Disney World come true was the best thing that could have ever happened to him.
For me, it was such a pleasure to pack for a vacation instead of packing for the next surgery. I’ll be honest I loved staying up late at night to read blogs from other parents who went to Disney World. It made for much better reading than the pros and cons of different surgeries and treatments.
Although it’s been a while since his dream, the simplest things bring back great memories. We were waiting in line at SickKids and instead of complaining about how his legs hurt, he was talking about how it reminded him of the long snaking lines for rides at Disney. Instead of fearing the MRI machine, he explained how it had lights like the Space Mountain ride. What a difference in Gregory’s self-confidence!”
(Pictured above, Kaydence and her family meet Minnie Mouse January 2015)