Brittany was 14-years-old when she was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis in 2005. It was a frightening time for her as she was experiencing seizures and was diagnosed with multiple brain tumors. It was a time of uncertainty that was taking a toll on their family as they spent countless days in the hospital.
“When I first found out I was getting a wish, I was just excited to get to do something with my family. We hadn’t had a family outing that didn’t involve a doctor’s office in months,” says Brittany, now 23. Brittany wished to go camping at Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando, Florida. It was the perfect wish that combined her love of camping, a typical family vacation for her, and her love of all things Disney.
“When you think of Disney, all you think of are happy thoughts. I wanted those happy thoughts.”
Brittany’s family traveled to Orlando in March 2006 and stayed at the Fort Wildnerness Campground.
“I had never been to Disney and, honestly, didn’t know if I would ever go," said Brittany. "It was an unattainable dream place in my mind. When I got there, I was blown away by the magic. To see the detail in everything they do to make kids feel special was amazing. I never wanted to leave.”
Brittany fondly remembers watching the shows, especially the live Lion King show, and enjoying the attractions with her family.
“Being sick isn’t a part of those memories. I wasn’t scared at that point. I felt like I could do anything and that everything would be okay.”
At age 20, Brittany knew she wanted to somehow go back to the place that brought her so much happiness. She moved to Orlando to begin working at Walt Disney World® through their college program. She continued working with Disney and is now a full-time Host Lead & Trainer at the Rainforest Café in Downtown Disney.