Mrs. Moyer’s case is a very touching one as her and her family is extremely financially challenged and all except 6yr old Briana is deaf. Here is a family dealing with the struggles of our society and having the added disadvantage of prevalent deafness. Then, along comes Mrs. Moyer’s diagnosis of terminal cancer and despair starts to set in—enter hospice and one of our “standards of care:” Ask the patient and family if they have a dying wish and what are their personal goals while we are caring for them.
On our second visit to her home, Mrs. Moyer relayed to our nurse that her dying wish was to see Mickey Mouse. Knowing that Mrs. Moyer was too weak to make the trip to Florida, our team began putting our heads together for a solution. Chance would have it that “Disney on Ice” would be performing in Knoxville and we were determined to make this happen for this patient and her family.
Our Volunteer Coordinator, Brenda Fletcher, mentioned it to a friend who had a family member that worked for a local TV station (WVLTV Channel 8). He in turn had a contact with a friend who was coordinating the show for Disney and a miracle started to happen. After two days of fast contacts and arrangements—Mrs. Moyer and her family were scheduled for a complimentary trip to see “Disney on Ice.” The schedule was for Mrs. Moyer and her daughter, Briana, to open the show from rink side, but miscommunication saw the show start without the introductions. To Mrs. Moyer’s advantage, the Disney folks felt terrible about the mix up and arranged for Mrs. Moyer and the entire family to meet Mickey and Minnie at intermission.
It was incredible as the family was treated to a private meeting during the intermission—lots of hugs and pictures and Mrs. Moyer smiled more during those ten minutes than she did all night. It seemed kind of magical and the kids were overwhelmed. After they met Mickey and Minnie they ate and watched the second part of the show. We furnished 2 interpreters for the family and it was a joy watching them have fun. Of course, Disney provided drinks, snacks, Disney sweat shirts, character dolls, and gift bags for every family member. Our entire team just knew what a special memory this would hold for all of her children, and Mrs. Moyer wanted this so much for those kids.
For the Disney rep, the TV folks, interpreters, and our team it was truly an effort that every one of us would have done just about anything to ensure it occurred. – exhausting but one of the most inspiring events for everyone involved. From this also came an offer from a local pottery shop to provide and decorate a Christmas tree for the family and a family member of our WVLTV contact is making each child a photo scrap book of the event—truly a gift that keeps on giving. Everyone involved really felt and understood how effort can really make some dreams come true.