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Meet Two Make-A-Wish Recipients Who Now Make Wishes Come True at Disney World

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The Make-A-Wish Foundation has been granting the wishes of terminally and critically ill children for more than four decades. One of the most popular wishes? A trip to Walt Disney World! Disney is a passionate partner in the foundation, and earlier this week, Cast Members joined together to help raise money to grant wishes. 

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Credit: Disney

More than 200 Cast Members came together to participate in Orlando’s Walk for Wishes, which raises money to grant future wishes. Together they raised just over $8,500 for the organization. 

Related: Make-A-Wish Family Surprised With Galactic Starcruiser Adventure

Billy Dempsey, a Cast Member and Walk for Wishes project lead, said, “As Disney cast members, we make magic every day, and it means the world to me that we’re able to do that for wish kids who come to our parks through events like this. The money we raised together means more kids are going to have wonderful and exciting experiences that they have never had before, and that’s really special.”

A wish has the power to do so much to bring joy and even healing to wish families. No one knows that better than current Cast Members and former Wish Recipients Abron Kelly and Madyson Townsend. Both received Disney World trips from the Make-A-Wish Foundation as children and grew up to make wishes come true for others every day at the Walt Disney World Resort.  

Related: Disney Brings Magic to Boy Dubbed “A Walking Miracle”

“I’m so grateful for the cast members that help support Make-A-Wish. You have no idea unless you’ve been in the shoes of a sick child or family member how much the magic you create for them means,” said Kelly. “I know from personal experience how a wish can provide an escape – a chance to just be a kid and not even think about what illness you have. It’s such a wonderful experience, and I still think about my wish trip to this day.”

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Credit: Disney

Madison Townsend went with her brother, Blake, on his Wish Trip to Disney World in 2000 while they battled an immune deficiency that both were born with, and her brother, unfortunately, succumbed to. 

“My brother Blake chose to go to Walt Disney World so that we could ride Buzz Lightyear together,” Madyson said. “It was the only vacation Blake, and I had together because he passed away a few years later. I don’t have a lot of solid memories with him, but I remember that trip – not necessarily what rides we rode or what shows we saw, but I remember the cast we interacted with and the special moments we shared. The thought of creating the same joy that was given to Blake and I is what led me to becoming a cast member.”

Make a wish foundation donation

Credit: Disney

Related: Meet Ellie, the Cancer Survivor and “Wish Kid” With Something to Say

Walk For Wishes is just one of the many fundraising events that Cast Members and the Walt Disney Company participate in each year. Over their 40-year partnership, Disney has helped raise millions of dollars for the charity. To learn how you can help, click here

 

About Jill Bivins

Jill Bivins has been visiting Disney Parks since she was 2 years old and loves sharing her Disney adventures with the world. She likes to say Disney is in her blood and writing is in her bones — so any time she has the opportunity to combine these loves she is one happy camper! She has a deep abiding love for Epcot and as a die hard Star Wars fan has a serious love for Hollywood Studios as well. When she isn't exploring or writing about Disney Parks, Jill is homeschooling her 8 year old son, playing with her brand new baby son, or pretending to be a farmer on her family homestead (despite being unable to keep even a cactus alive). Find Jill on Instagram @minnieonmain.