NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A 17-year-old New Brunswick resident was recently granted a dream trip to visit the Walt Disney World theme parks by the Sunshine Foundation, which answers the dreams of children living with life-long chronic illnesses.
Zaire, who has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and developmental delays, took the trip with his grandmother and caregiver, Beverly Marshall, as well as his nurse from Bayada Home Health Care and other family members.
“We just had a fantastic time,” said Marshall, a longtime city resident who has been Zaire's primary caregiver since he was 3-years-old.
“Everything was just beautiful.”
While in Florida, Zaire visited the Walt Disney World Resort, which included trips to Walt Disney World Disney World, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Theme Parks.
“When we got there he was all smiles, especially when we were at the animal kingdom,” Marshall said of her grandson.
She said Zaire was even able to go on several of the theme park rides which are equipped for wheelchairs.
Zaire’s trip was sponsored by the Sunshine Foundation's All-Volunteer Monmouth County Miracles Chapter.
One of the highlights of the trip was the family’s stay at the Sunshine Foundation Dream Village, a 22-acre resort with themed cottages equipped for the special needs of children like Zaire.
“I really just thank them and am very appreciative of what they have done for Zaire and his family,” Marshall said of the Sunshine Foundation.
Marshall said the staff at Bayada Home Health Care nominated Zaire to the Sunshine Foundation, which provides dream trips through support and donations.
Marshall said that she will continue to be Zaire's primary caregiver, but that he also receives nursing services each day. She said that Zaire, who is unable to walk or talk, expresses himself through eye contact and the sounds he has learned to make.
Since 1976, Sunshine Foundation has answered the dreams of more than 37,000 children in the United States, and it remains the nation’s only A-rated wish-granting charity serving the terminally ill or chronically ill.