For four-year-old Tanner, communicating his wants and needs is not as easy as it is for other children his age. His condition, CHARGE syndrome, a recognizable genetic pattern of birth defects, can sometimes make life harder than it needs to be. However for Tanner, he does not allow this diagnosis to slow him down.
Although he is non-verbal, Tanner has learned how to communicate by gesticulating and pointing to what he need and likes. Through this form of communication, Tanner expressed to his volunteer Wish Granters, Dave and Pat, his one true wish was to go to Disneyland. Tanner loves bright lights, loud sounds, and feelings of motion and movement. A trip to the happiest place on earth would fulfill each of these, and allow Tanner time with several of his favorite characters as well.
Following a celebratory pizza party send off, Tanner and his mother, Katherine, were off on their flight to California. Upon take off, Tanner and his mother held hands in their seats, preparing for a great adventure. It was at this time the flight attendant saw them together and learned of Tanner’s wish. Beaming with joy, the flight attendant announced to the plane that Tanner was on his way to Disneyland for his wish, resulting in generous donations and kind words from multiple passengers. Tanner’s wish had just begun and already the impact of his wish was reaching far and wide.
Tanner’s trip to Disneyland was a beautiful time, and one of the highlights was dining at the always popular Goofy’s Kitchen. Complete with trips to meet the princesses and all of his favorite characters, Tanner enjoyed spinning in the teacups, the splash of cool water on the log ride, and more.
When asked about his wish, Katherine was filled with emotion and gratitude. “Thank you so very much for everything. Tanner’s wish was amazing, and we all had such a great time. Tanner enjoyed everything, especially the rides, bright costumes, all the lights, and, of course, the Disney characters.”