Tanner is legally deaf and blind and relies on his care givers to keep him alive. Though the hope I have for my child to be healthy and happy has been tested at times, he never gives up! While most mothers were teaching their children how to eat without making a mess, my son was teaching me how to be strong, thankful and to love unconditionally!! I fight for him and with him, every single day and his joy and happiness in the face of adversity gives me the strength to keep going.
Because Tanner has brought his family and me such joy despite his hardships, I reached out to Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada in hopes we could give Tanner what he has already given us…strength and joy. This was also my chance to express my gratitude. My son never gave up, and he is an inspiration to everyone that knows him.
When Tanner’s referral was approved, we were scheduled to meet with our volunteer Wish Granters we lovingly call "Team Revzin". This amazing husband and wife couple soon found out Tanner’s favorite show is Disney Jr. He loves to groove to the "hot dog dance". We listen to it wherever we go, so it was no surprise Tanner’s one true wish was to go to Disneyland®.
Soon after we met with “Team Revzin,", they worked their magic at Make-A-Wish, and we found out Tanner’s wish was coming true! With a little love and planning, the day finally arrived. Tanner had no idea what was going on, but when he saw the limousine pull up to our house, he was anxious to see where we were going.
We were swept away to the airport in style and before takeoff, the flight attendant saw Tanner and I holding hands. She asked if we were going to Disneyland and I explained yes, we are with Make-A-Wish. She came closer and asked for Tanner’s name and age. As we were coming in for landing, the flight attendant made an announcement, "Hello everyone, we have a four-year-old named Tanner who’s on his journey to Disneyland because the Make-A-Wish Foundation has granted his wish. Let's ensure Tanner experiences the best time of his life; any donation you can give him would be greatly appreciated!" The flight attendant collected $854.00! It took two flight attendants and one passenger to count. One man alone donated $100!!! I was so amazed and speechless--wow!!! I mean WOW!! Thank you to our flight attendant, Shannae, for making our already unforgettable experience, even more, extraordinary. (By the way, Tanner did amazing the entire plane ride)
We decided to go for a swim after we got settled. Tanner rode the water slide all by himself!! I was so impressed. My little boy who, not too long ago was attached to a ventilator, was riding a water slide by himself. A moment like that doesn’t come along every day. I was so happy!
Make-A-Wish did such a fantastic job with our itinerary. Our morning began at Goofy's Kitchen for breakfast. Tanner was giving all the characters a hug and was kissing their noses. Such joy filled my heart I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. We had our pictures taken before we entered the restaurant. Just before we left, the photographer came back to our table and had a plastic bag on her hand with the Goofy's Kitchen logo on it. She proceeded to say, “The chef would like to me give this to you. Compliments of the house; have a wonderful time here at Disney!” I almost cried; it felt so surreal!!!
The next day we visited California Adventure. Another awesome experience! He loved the bumper cars, but his favorite was the Bugs Life show. He was laughing so hard and even kept his 3D glasses on the entire time.
The best part of all was Tanner signing and trying to communicate with me! He wanted “MORE”, he was “done”, and he said “happy” and “thank you”--more signs than he has ever expressed before. In an average week, I will get one sign. In three days, I got several!!
My son deserves every bit of happiness life has to offer. Since we don’t know how much longer he has with us, we will continue to LIVE life to the FULLEST!!! I am very grateful for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Not only did they grant Tanner’s one true wish…they granted one amazing experience. I definitely would not have been able to do the same for Tanner on my own. The amount of love, time and effort this foundation and its volunteers has blessed us with is priceless!!! Tanner may not speak of it, but I know he remembers it! Thank you Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada for making his wish come true!