Frankie's wish - to simply spend time with his family on a Disney Cruise - evolved into a much more powerful and transformational experience.
Frankie's mom sent us a touching letter detailing the family's experience:
“This has been a long two years for my family filled with worry, anticipation, hope, and most of all, appreciation.
My son Frankie was diagnosed with osteosarcoma of his right tibia in December 2009. He had just completed a successful football season and was starting wrestling season when he discovered a red bump on his leg. We naively thought it was nothing serious and soon found out Frankie had cancer.
Frankie started chemotherapy in January 2010 for 29 weeks, had surgery to remove the tumor, and had reconstruction surgery to repair his leg in March 2010. Frankie was cancer free, but he was unable to return to his 7th grade school year. Frankie progressed to walking with crutches and has used them for one-and-a-half years to continue to strengthen his leg and improve his gait.
Frankie has truly been an inspiration to us all. He just accepted this diagnosis and has made it his mission to beat it, be positive, and continue to look forward. Sports may be out of the picture for Frankie, but he will strive, I believe, to achieve anything he puts his mind to.
This August, we received a most special gift. Frankie and the family were granted a wish by the Make-A-Wish Foundation to go on a Disney Cruise vacation. Frankie has always wanted to go on a cruise. Frankie, his brother Nicky, his sister Gina, and my husband and I had the time of our lives.
Frankie really progressed so much on the trip. He went swimming in the ocean and went bicycle riding. He has not enjoyed these activities in over a year. He gained so much confidence in his legs and decided to stop using the crutches.
On this trip, my husband and I saw three wonderfully happy children without a care in the world. Frankie’s sister and especially his brother have been Frankie’s greatest support team. It was great to see them smile. We continue to talk about the wonderful memories and adventures we experienced on the cruise.
Frankie has now entered his first year in high school and is committed to being the best person he can be. We greatly appreciate the kindness and generosity you have given us to provide a very special gift of happiness to a very deserving young man.”