Our Wish Stories

Meet Sofia

Sofia Allen, 8, was diagnosed at the age of three with Autosomal Dominant Optic Atrophy, which is an autosomally inherited disease that affects the optic nerves. It causes reduced visual acuity and is a contributing factor of blindness, vision loss or impairment, beginning in childhood. This condition affects each person differently and there is no cure. At Sofia’s  initial exam, her eyesight was 20/150, from six months to a year after that, her eyesight jumped to 20/400 and is legally blind. Sofia is learning how to read Braille and ways to advocate for herself to prepare for the future.

Sofia was Pixie Dust Wishes' first wish recipient at the Race to Neverland in 2017. Her family traveled to Walt Disney World for the first time in January 2018 and her favorite part was meeting Princess Ariel and all the  roller coasters! They were so thankful that Sofia was able to see Disney World, and that they could do it together, something they will never take for granted.

Meet Eddie

Eddie Coltabaugh, 4, has a genetic disorder called DiGeorge Syndrome. DiGeorge syndrome is a chromosomal disorder that affects the twenty second chromosome at the q11.2 location. It affects as many as 1 in 4000 people.  Eddie has a feeding tube and wears a feeding backpack during the day that is attached to an IV pole at night to enable him getting his feeds. He is non-verbal and is on approximately 12 medications a day. He has seizures and a learning disability.

His family went to Disney at the end of February 2018. His favorite memories were the rides: especially Teacups, Small World, and Dumbo. He also liked meeting Pluto & Mickey in person!Eddie's mom told us that Eddie didn't stop smiling and jumping around in excitement the entire week they were there. It was the happiest, most magical week of their lives.

Meet Camryn

Camryn Shomo, 11, was diagnosed in February 2016 after many years of seeing doctors and specialists with SATB2 Associated Syndrome, also labeled as Glass Syndrome, which is a genetic disorder characterized by developmental delay/intellectual disability with absent or limited speech development, behavioral problems, and abnormalities of the palate and teeth.  There are also other problems and findings that go along with this syndrome.

Camryn's family visited Disney in March 2018. The Shomo family experienced a magical moment when they went to Trattoria al Forno for breakfast where the princesses used sign language to communicate with Camryn when they met! They enjoyed and were so thankful for every magical moment that was made possible by Pixie Dust Wishes.​​

Meet Fatima

Fatima Kaya, 17, was born prematurely 23 weeks gestational weighing only 1 lbs 5 ounces. She stayed in the NICU 4 months in Buffalo Children's Hospital. Fatima had a hemorrhage in her brain and needed surgery to implant a VP Shunt.


Fatima also needed to have surgery on both of her eyes for Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP). Fatima has developmental delays, intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, cortical visual impairment and she is legally blind. She is non-verbal and wheelchair bound.

Fatima and her family will be visiting Disney World in spring of 2019. Fatima is looking forward to all the rides!

Meet Olivia

Olivia Peters, 7, was diagnosed with Pontocerebellar Hypoplaysia in April 2014. This a rare genetic disorder that at this point is  only known to have a little more than 100 published cases.

This condition is a neurological disorder that affects all of the muscles in her body. She requires a feeding tube for feeding because of her floppy airway and uses a wheelchair to get around. It also affects her speech as well. There are other conditions that go along with this condition as well. 

Olivia and her family will be heading to Disney World at the end of February 2019. Olivia is looking forward to meeting all the princesses!

Meet Hannah

Hannah Scott, 3, was born with Down syndrome. Down syndrome is a genetic condition that occurs when an individual has an extra copy of chromosome 21, also known as Trisomy 21. The DNA material in the extra chromosome causes a variety of health and developmental issues. Each individual with Down syndrome is affected differently, depending on how that extra chromosome affects him/her. For Hannah, she has Celiac disease which requires her to follow a specific diet as well as some developmental delays and uses sign language as her main form of communication. 

Hannah was granted a Disney wish at Pixie Dust Wishes' Race to Neverland in August 2018. Hannah and her family recently visited Disney in November.

"Honored. Overwhelmed. Grateful. So many words come to my mind when thinking about the gift given to use by PDW. With every kiss to Mickey's nose by Hannah; every laugh and cheer of excitement from our kids; every snuggle as our kids fell asleep at night or woke in morning-- the magic of DIsney was magnified by our connection with such an amazing organization. We have been welcomed into the PDW family and can't wait to pay it forward to other families in the future!" said, Tanya and Joe Scott

Meet Kara

Kara Weitzel, 12, was born with Down syndrome. Down syndrome is a genetic condition that occurs when an individual has an extra copy of chromosome 21, also known as Trisomy 21. The DNA material in the extra chromosome causes a variety of health and developmental issues. Each individual with Down syndrome is affected differently, depending on how that extra chromosome affects him/her. For Kara, her biggest challenges are sensory related where certain accommodations are needed for her to do things that most people take for granted. 

Kara was recently awarded her wish and they are in the very beginning stages of planning their trip and hope to go to Disney in 2019. Kara is most looking forward to eating a meal with Cinderella!


Meet Ian

Ian Eckert was very sick after he was born. It was determined that Ian had significant White Matter loss in his brain which impedes motor skill and functionality. This underlying diagnosis has resulted in many symptomatic diagnosis throughout the years. As a result, Ian receives breathing treatments multiple times a day, physical, occupational, vision and speech therapies every week. Ian has been homebound more this past week due to an ailment last summer. Ian loves to get out and about and is looking forward to being away from his day to day routine to go to the magical place that helps him feel better. The warmth, breeze, the overall happiness of the staff is positively affecting to him. He feeds of of others excitement and with our family and everyone around him excited - it makes for an awesome experience at Disney.


Meet Brady

Brady Stenger was diagnosed with Autism/MMR. He struggles with social interactions and communication as well as with academics. He is on a first/second grade level academically. Brady can not tolerate gluten, dairy, and yeast so they are on special diets.

Brady and his family visited Walt Disney World in October. Brady couldn't wait to go on a vacation and  spend time with his family at Disney. He was excited to go on the rides, meet the characters, and eat lots of food. Brady loved the Mickey Waffles and said, it was the best vacation ever!



Meet Jacob

Jacob (Jake) Stenger was diagnosed with Autism/MMR. He also battles Lyme-Bartonella. Jake struggles with severe OCD (which makes every day life tough for him and the family), ADD, sleep disturbances (usually only sleeps 6 hours a night), and struggles to complete daily living tasks independently. He is significantly delayed in all areas of development. 

Jake is excited about meeting the different characters at Disney and going on all the rides! 


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