A Shine DreamLift Family History

Shine programs change lives of kids and their families. But for Randy, he never thought he’d witness the powerful impact of a Shine experience twice in his lifetime. In 1988, on the second year of the Shine DreamLift program, Randy’s brother Gerald (then, age 18) had just returned from Disney, bringing back a hat for his younger brother Randy (then, age 13). Gerald was living with a rare form of bone cancer but as Randy explains, “the DreamLift sparked something for him. It gave him independence and confidence.”

The day was uplifting to say the least and Gerald made an effort to visit Disney every year thereafter. Sadly, 23 years later, his cancer returned. Yet his DreamLift experience made such a positive impact that upon his passing, he requested to wear his DreamLift sweater.

Cooper DreamLift London 2018

Seven years later, and 30 years since his late uncle’s DreamLift trip to Disney, Cooper learned he was approved to take part in Shine DreamLift London 2018. His family knew exactly how powerful this experience would be for him.

Cooper lives with Stickler Syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes serious vision, hearing and joint complications. He is completely blind in his left eye, and is extremely nearsighted in his right eye – but you’d never know it seeing the high energy and enthusiasm he exudes.

“It means the world to us to see him experience things he only imagined, knowing that his vision is very fragile and can change in the blink of an eye. He could be blind at some point even in his young life so we want him to have these experiences and memories while his vision is still good. Then he can keep these memory photos for his lifetime,” his mom explains.

The Shaw family shares their endless gratitude for Shine experiences that spanned over 30 years and continues to hold a bright spot in their hearts:

"We are very grateful for what you have done for Cooper and for my brother many years ago. It’s beyond words what your dedication and support means to us and so many families." – Randy.

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