PLYMOUTH — A little boy got his wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation and after a brief hiccup is back at home.
The Simon family left their home on Willow Street on Jan. 4, headed for Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
Noah Simon, 3, has a glucose 1 deficiency. After his mother, Rachel, applied and went through a vetting process, Noah’s whole family — including brothers Luke, 5, and Jack Revell, 14 — joined in the family fun.
“We couldn’t afford it,” said Albert, Noah’s father, mentioning his son’s medical bills. “This may have been the only time they’d be able to go.”
While in Florida the family stayed at the Give Kids the World Village, a nonprofit resort that caters to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
Noah was diagnosed last June with the disease, shortly after turning 3.
His body doesn’t break down sugars like a regular person’s body would. It also processes fats differently, and doctors have Noah on a ketogenic diet, which is “more strict than Atkins,” Rachel said. Noah needs a protein included in every meal. Noah drinks heavy cream, such as regular milk, or the family will incorporate almond flour in pancakes.
“It’s like a full-time job just to feed him,” Albert said.
As the family recounted their magical trip, Noah held a plush Mickey Mouse. He also had a Mayor Clayton plush nearby. Mayor Clayton is a rabbit, who is the ‘mayor’ of the Give Kids the World Village. One of his duties is tucking children staying at the village in at bedtime.
Jack’s favorite part of the trip was Space Mountain in Magic Kingdom, while Luke had a blast on the merry-go-round in the village. Noah enjoyed seeing Mickey Mouse, or as he calls him, “Mick Mouse.”
“They woke up to a new something everyday,” Rachel said, adding they had to ship their souvenirs home instead of packing them in their suitcases. The souvenirs were en route to their home as of Wednesday afternoon.
Rachel said the group at the village celebrates something new every day, just in case families come back early from the parks.
“They don’t want the children to miss out on the magic,” Maggie O’Brien, regional manager for Make-A-Wish, said about the the village.
Give Kids the World Village is set up to assist families of all needs.
“It comes outfitted with whatever the children need,” O’Brien said.
Albert agreed, praising the set up of the village.
“Every morning there was a cart, and it included things Noah would need,” he said. “They were so helpful.”
The kids, Albert said, had a “hard time” coming back home to reality.
The family did have two issues — weather and travel.
Albert said the weather was chilly enough to make it sweater weather for the family.
“It was cold,” Albert said with a chuckle.
The biggest issue, though, was missing a flight home, which lengthened their trip more than a couple hours. The airline gate was closed when the family passed through security in Orlando and though they sprinted through the airport, they still were four minutes late, Rachel said.
Make-A-Wish got them another flight back to Pennsylvania, but they missed a connecting flight from Philadelphia to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport. Albert had to drive them home in a rental car.
Reach Melanie Mizenko at 570-991-6116 or on Twitter @TL_MMizenko