Snow cones were the deal maker.
Trey Cooper contemplated rubbing elbows with BMX superstar Brett Banasiewicz or a trip to Disney World.
But in the end it was the promise of making snow cones all day with his younger sister, Portia, nine, that sealed the deal.
In November, Cooper, 13, and his family will spend a week at Disney’s Hawaii Aulani Resort courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Northern Alberta Canada.
Cooper was one of four Red Deer and area youth who were granted wishes this year. The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.
When making his wish, the teenager told his father, “If there’s snow cones, I’m in.”
Mother Connie Cooper said her son was at his sickest last November and now the month of November will take on new meaning for the family.
“It’s just so cool that it is November when we are going,” said Connie Cooper. “This is a whole new memory for November.”
The family said they are thankful for the support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, STARS Air Ambulance and Gord Bamford’s Charity Golf Classic, part of the Adopt-A-Wish program, which gives donors the opportunity to be taken through the wish experience with a child.
Trey was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma on Sept. 10, 2011.
He finished his four rounds of chemotherapy in November and has checkups every three months.
Young ship builder Chance Coulic, eight, will also have his wish fulfilled of walking the deck on a Disney dream cruise.
His parents Shannon and Bill Coulic are thrilled to have their son be a kid again and not have to worry about his disease. She said it is difficult to put in words what this opportunity from the Make-A-Wish Foundation means to these children and their families.
“It’s such an unbelievably wonderful experience for these kids,” said Coulic. “For that as a family we will always be thankful and for Chance to never forget and cherish.”
Chance was diagnosed with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia in June 2011. Chance is in the maintenance stage of his cancer treatments where he only has to go for treatment at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary once a month and takes oral chemotherapy at home.
“But he’s doing much better,” said Shannon, noting they were waiting for the go-ahead from the doctors to allow them to take the trip. They received the all-clear last month.
Shannon said her son loves ships so it was not surprising that he chose a cruise ship as this once in a lifetime wish.
“I just can’t wait to see his face,” said Shannon. “It’s a dream for him. He doesn’t even care where it’s going. He just wants to be on that ship.”
The ship-loving eight-year-old will enter Grade 3 at Annie L. Gaetz Elementary School next month.
Trey is homeschooled and will go into Grade 8.
Two other youngsters from Red Deer and surrounding area will have their wishes granted in the next few months.