Six-year-old Ian was diagnosed at an early age with Morquio Syndrome- an endocrine disorder that prohibits his body from metabolizing sugar molecules as it should. Morquio patients often have issues arise with their bone structures and because of this, Ian has walked with a walker for most of his life. He had a double hip replacement at the age of 4 and after many hours of physical therapy was finally able to walk on his own! He was very proud of his accomplishment and when his volunteers met with him to ask him what his one true heartfelt wish was- he happily exclaimed that he wanted to “Go to Disney World to show Dora the Explorer I can walk!” Ian loves to ride go-karts and play in the arcade, so his volunteers decided to surprise him with a wish reveal at a local arcade. Ian and his father Marcus rounded the track and were surprised with a huge Dora the Explorer balloon, signs that read “Ian you’re going to meet Dora!” and tons of presents and goodies. After enjoying his favorite kind of pizza, he opened his wish enhancements and exclaimed, “This is the best day ever!” Ian’s enthusiasm and spirit made him a natural choice as the guest of honor for Make-A-Wish Alabama’s inaugural event, Rivals for Wishes. Ian had football greats from the University of Alabama and Auburn in stiches as he showed the crowd how to dance and “shake their backs”.
Ian’s wish to go to Disney World was granted in June and his mom and dad reported back that it was truly the trip of a lifetime and what a joy it was to see Ian so happy and carefree. Not only did he get to meet Dora- he also got to meet Diego too! He was thrilled that he could finally show his friends how well he can walk- all on his own!