Cole Wittenberg is headed for the trip of a lifetime.
On Tuesday, the four-year-old’s dream of heading to Disney World was granted by the Children’s Wish Foundation.
“It is extremely touching because every child is so unique and it means so much for the family,” said Cheryl Matthews, Children’s Wish Foundation provincial director.
“It means so much to create magic and memories for all the kids.”
The foundation threw Cole a surprise party in Dartmouth, N.S., to tell him he was going to Disney World and due to his love of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles everything at his party was ninja turtle themed – from the balloons, down to the cake. He even had a special visit from the Turtles themselves to present Cole with gifts.
Cole has a recurrent cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma. He has multiple tumors in his lung, including one that cutting off the airway to his windpipe and causing his lung to collapse. Because of his condition, Cole’s trip to Disney World almost didn’t happen.
“It was very touch and go,” said Kaleena Wittenberg, Cole’s mother.
“Honestly, we didn’t think he was going to make it through another week but we started radiation very urgently and within a couple of days he was breathing much better.”
“It’s going to be the first time that he’s ever been on an airplane.” said Wittenberg. “We didn’t think it was going to happen, it was completely off the table but after he did his radiation, things got a lot better so Disney suddenly became back on the table just last week.”
On top of the trip, people who heard about Cole’s story – and his love of the Ninja Turtles – decided to help out. One lady from New Brunswick gave a turtle costume to Cole and he was presented with a stuffed Ninja Turtle to take on his Disney World trip with him.
Rob Paulsen, who voiced Raphael on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show, also called to talk to Cole and invited him to be the fifth Turtle.
A family from Truro, N.S., made the trip to Dartmouth to present Cole with four large canvas paintings. Each one is four feet tall (taller than Cole) and represent Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael. The idea is for Cole to hang the paintings in his room at home when he is feeling better.
“Being a mom, I just figured it would be amazing if anyone did that for my children so I figured it would be a good use of them to do that for him,” said Jami MacKay, who created the artwork.
Cole and his family will head to Disney World on Thursday and he knows exactly what he wants to do first.
“Meet the real Ninja Turtles,” said Cole.