The Make-A-Wish foundation awarded 4-year-old leukemia survivor McKenna May a trip to Disney World. Sweet, right? It could have been, but parents are required to sign off on Make-A-Wish trips and McKenna's dad refused.
Why on earth would any parent do that?
According to Willie May McKenna, the trips should go to kids who only have 6 months to live -- and his daughter beat her disease.
If you ask me, it has more to do with McKenna's bitter child visitation battle with his estranged wife, Whitney Hughes.
These parents are using a sick child as a way to hurt one another. Whitney Hughes kept Willie May away from his daughter so now he’s going to keep her away from Disney World -- or maybe he really doesn't understand the seriousness of what his daughter went through.
Parents, who become so focused on hurting their ex, often don’t see that they are hurting their children. Sure, maybe this is something his ex might have enjoyed doing, but a Make-A-Wish trip for a little girl who is blessed enough to have survived leukemia is about a celebration. Anyone who has ever known a child who has lived through pediatric cancer knows that. My nephew, who survived leukemia himself at the age of 4, remembers fondly his trip to Disney World. He had spent a couple of years in hell with his treatment, as did his parents watching their baby go through that nightmare. They all deserved their trip to Walt Disney World. It was a little bit of sunshine in a whole lot of darkness.
Maybe he ought to be ecstatic that his daughter is in remission. Make no mistake little kids who have to go through cancer treatment go through hell. I’ve seen it first hand. She definitely deserves the trip. She survived but it could just as easily have been fatal. Children who survive cancer endure so much just in receiving treatment. Childhoods are sacrificed when a child is undergoing treatment; it’s virtually impossible to play outside and be carefree because the child’s immune system is destroyed. There are no play dates because every stranger introduces a new vulnerability to the child’s immune system. Children lose their hair, become moody and exhausted, and it takes everything inside of a small child to make it through the painful days filled with feeling sick and weak, having spinal taps, and being poked and prodded. The not knowing what the next day will bring is the worst. The Make-A-Wish trip is the prize for enduring all this hardship, for unrelenting strength in the face of uncertainty, and for surviving it all with grace. It is not the prize for being selected to die.
This dad is a dick. The price of Disney should not be death. Make-A-Wish is very familiar with these cases and they choose appropriately. Who is the father to take away a little bit of joy in his daughter's life just because he feels she doesn't deserve it? Parents need to get their heads out of their asses and leave their own disagreements behind, a child is not a tool to use to hurt one another because the only one who ever truly gets hurt is the child in the middle.
Image via Make-A-Wish Foundation