Even amid international distress due to coronavirus, a young boy with a terminal illness is still hoping he can make it to the Happiest Place on Earth.
The road to the Disney Parks has not been easy for one little boy. Six-year-old Sonny Pope-Saunders from the U.K. was diagnosed with diffuse midline glioma just last month. Before his diagnosis, Sonny’s family was concerned about his balance and slurred speech. They soon found out that their son has a brain tumor, and they were told he would possibly have just 10 months left to live.
Now, thanks to the help of a kindhearted neighbor who set up a fundraiser, the Pope-Saunders family — including Sonny, his mother and father, his seven-year-old brother, and his 10-year-old sister — hope to go on a trip to Disneyland Paris this April. But with coronavirus spreading worldwide and now that Disneyland Paris has shut down until the end of March because of it, the trip may not be possible.
France has banned large gatherings of more than 5,000 people. With thousands of guests at the Disneyland Paris theme parks, each day — and with three Disneyland Paris Cast Members being diagnosed with coronavirus — the park’s closure was unavoidable. But no announcement has been made as of yet for April.
Mrs. Sim, the family-friend who created the fundraiser, posted a recent update:
Thank you all so much for your donations. sonny has the best trip to Disneyland planned. we pray there are no travel restrictions. we are also looking to book him a ‘posh’ trip to Harry Potter studios!! any extra amounts will be kept and used for Sonnys Smile and donated to other worthy causes. however for now, they are being used so sonny and his brother and sister have the best few months possible. Thank you so much!
For now, the money — which is being raised through a GoFundMe initiative titled Sonny Pope-Saunders – Final Disneyland Wish — will go toward a four-day trip to Disneyland Paris, an experience a the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London, and a visit to Legoland in Windsor. You can read more and donate to the fundraiser here.
We will continue to keep the Pope-Saunders family in our thoughts, and we hope Sonny has a wonderful Disney trip, no matter when it happens.