6-year-old cancer survivor gets wish granted to open Disneyland gates to public – “I got to open Disneyland!”
It was the most magical day at the ‘happiest place on Earth’…what more could a little boy ask for?
Linden Bradley, a 6-year-old cancer survivor, wanted just one thing from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Canada.
Make-A-Wish told him, “you can go anywhere you want to go, and he said Disneyland!” Julia Bradley, Linden’s mom, told Good Morning America.
And that is exactly what he did. Like most little one’s his age, Linden loves the ‘happiest place on Earth’ – he even got to go during his favorite “spooky” Halloween season which was a wish granted by Mickey Mouse himself.
“I got to open Disneyland!” Linden said with excitement.
Decked with a Make-A-Wish shirt and a Disney inspired ‘Jack Skellington’ hat, he received the key to the kingdom along with his family and opened the gates of the park to the public.
“It was such a special moment,” Linden’s mom said.
The family of four came down from their hometown of Pitt Meadows, a suburb of Vancouver in Canada, for the weeklong trip – and
the gate opening was an added surprise for them.
Linden and his family headed straight to the Haunted Mansion ride after the grand opening ceremony. After exiting the iconic ride, a Disney cast member was waiting for him and appointed Linden “honorary mayor” of the mansion for the day.
“I felt great!” Linden said.
The family then went to go trick-or-treating dressed as “The Incredibles” while attending the Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween party.
Linden’s mom got a little emotional when explaining how much the festivities meant to Linden and the whole family – and it just so happened to be her birthday as well.
“It was hard, especially on that day, to hold back tears of happiness because he’d been through so much, and to see him look so well and so happy and so full of energy — just to be a kid again,” Bradley said.
Last March, Linden was diagnosed with stage 4 Burkitt Lymphoma after experiencing some flu-like symptoms. Not long after, he was rushed via ambulance to a nearby children’s hospital. But when he arrived, he was moved straight up to oncology. That night, his parents learned that their son’s imaging revealed cancer.
“It took everything within me not to fall to my knees on the ground and bawl my eyes out because I had to be strong,” Bradley said.
Linden would end up needing six to eight months of full inpatient treatment, the doctors told Linden’s mom.
“That was a hard pill to swallow … trying to explain that to a six-year-old,” Bradley said.
However, Linden’s tough little body responded well to the treatment – four rounds of inpatient chemotherapy later, he was discharged in June as a cancer survivor in remission. As quickly as the cancer diagnosis entered their lives, it left…thankfully!
“Our favorite part of the Disney trip was just to be able to spend time as family … and that something so awful as cancer has brought us together,” Linden’s mom said.
The family is now preparing for his big sister Keira’s birthday this week.
“It’s going to make it difficult to go back to Disneyland without [Make-A-Wish],” Bradley said laughing.
Soak in all the Majical moments of life as tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us. As of now, it looks Linden will have many more tomorrows.