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Looking Back at a Disney Camping Adventure

  • Brittany and her sister Kasey outside the HoopDeeDoo Review Dinner Show at the campground in Disney

  • Brittany feeds a dolphin

  • Brittany and her sister and now Make-A-Wish Regional Manager Leandra in Walt Disney World®

  • Brittany and Kasey with Mickey Mouse years after her wish

“ 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. ”

- Brittany

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.

The best part of my job is getting to see wish kids when they come in to eat! I get to see the smile on their face – a smile that probably hasn’t been there in a while. I was that kid a few years ago thanks to Make-A-Wish. I’ll never forget that. ”

— Brittany

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1 Comment

Dawn Sartori Hudock

Hey! I was Brittany's wish volunteer! How exciting to get a follow up! :) I remember her family and send off at the airport very well. I also remember their little dog seemed to take a liking to me- he was on my lap the entire time we were visiting!

August 07, 2014 - 11:11 PM

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