Eighteen-year-old Joshua of Hood River has Down syndrome and congenital heart disease. He has been through more than a dozen different surgeries since the day he was born and there are more ahead. Yet, he sustains these medical events with grace and courage and both of his diagnoses are a part of him; they don’t define him.
Josh had a dream to visit Orlando, Fla., and the theme parks and last year, Sunshine Foundation notified him and his family that his dream would be coming true. On Oct.15, Joshua, his parents and his sister flew to Orlando where they spent five days and four nights exploring Disney World and Sea World.
For Joshua, the best part of his dream was riding the roller coasters, especially Space Mountain. He also enjoyed dancing at the special Sunshine Foundation’s Dream Village Masquerade Ball and receiving a bag full of goodies from the silent auction. Staying at the Dream Village and playing miniature golf and swimming the Olympic-size swimming pool was also a highlight.
Joshua’s mother Cindy was overwhelmed: “Getting to go to Disney is something my son has always talked about. This really has been a dream come true and a wonderful break from doctors and appointments and saying thank you doesn’t seem quite enough.”
Sunshine Foundation is the original wish-granting organization in the United States, and has answered the dreams of more than 36,000 children since 1976. Of those served, many are at 100 percent of established poverty levels according to federal poverty guidelines. Some 83 percent of every dollar spent goes directly to program services.
To learn more about the Sunshine Foundation visit www.sunshinefounda-tion.org.