St. Thomas boy's wish for Disney adventure comes true
Published: September 21, 2013
Font size: [A] [A] [A]
ST. THOMAS - Many people who meet D'lany Harrigan, an outgoing and engaging 6-year-old with a big smile, might consider him to be a regular "Prince Charming," and now he is on his way to meet the real deal.
Treated to an all-expense paid trip to Disney World, D'lany left for Orlando, Fla., on Friday thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, with some help from American Airlines' Something mAAgic Foundation.
Harrigan, who was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia at the age of 1, was one of more than 30 other children - who all suffer life-threatening illnesses - who will gather in Florida for a special week.
"It's going to be fun," D'lany said Friday before leaving from King Airport on St. Thomas amid much pomp and circumstance.
Traveling with him are D'lany's two older brothers - Malachi, 9, and Michael, 12 - his mother, Janna Harrigan, and father, Eddy Harrigan.
The Harrigan family will be staying at a 70-acre resort in Orlando until they fly back on Thursday.
"D'lany didn't sleep last night," Janna Harrigan said.
"He woke up last night at 11 and said, 'Is it time to go yet?' "
The family has not had an easy run of it in the last few years, as D'lany's health deteriorated after he suffered from a stroke when he was 3. Sickle cell anemia by itself is life threatening, and a stroke only makes the disease worse.
Since then, the family has had to take D'lany to receive treatments in Puerto Rico once every month.
However, next month the doctor's appointment will be different.
Both of D'lany's brothers will have their bone marrow tested to see whether they could be donors for their younger brother. If they are, D'lany could receive a bone marrow transplant that could perhaps cure him of sickle cell anemia.
D'lany's family said he is a creative young boy who loves candy, wrestling, watching movies and cuddling up when it is time to go to bed.
D'lany is not the only child in the territory who is terminally ill with a life threatening disease, said Cheryl Rink, D'lany's wish grantor from Make-A-Wish.
The local branch of Make-A-Wish works with the community to make the wishes come true for any and all children with a life-threatening disease in the territory.
The foundation will hold a fundraiser on Sept. 28 to help pay for granting wishes. The "Walk for Wishes" offers a 5K walk and a 5K run for adults and children.
The walk/run will begin at Yacht Haven Grande on St. Thomas, with registration beginning at 7 a.m. and the event beginning at 9 a.m.
For more information, email email@example.com or send a fax to 954-967-2468.
More information about American Airlines' program, Something mAAgic Foundation, can be found at www.somethingmaagic.org
The Something mAAgic Foundation gave the Harrigan family a $500 check and the V.I. Legislature also gave the Something mAAgic Foundation a $500 check to help pay for D'lany's trip.
- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.