Dinosaur Man: Andrew Martinez’s Make-A-Wish Disney visit a treat for SP boy
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: August 28, 2013
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Times
A “super, super, super trip!” was how Andrew Martinez AKA The Dinosaur Man described his Make-A-Wish Disneyland adventure taken with family members and with the support of Wish Granters Lupe Castro of Santa Paula and Audrey Harvey of Thousand Oaks.
According to Castro, McKevett School 1st grader Andrew, his parents Vianca and Rafael and 2-year-old sister Luzlee enjoyed their first trip the famed Anaheim themed-park as well as a day at California Adventure. Andrew, 6, is already an expert on dinosaurs and wants to be a paleontologist when he grows up.
Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties provided the trip for Andrew and his family, including transportation, expenses and fun money. The fun started as soon as Nite Owl Limo Service picked the family up early Friday morning. They were whisked away in a white limo, a ride that Castro said Andrew enjoyed, but it was just a preview of the fun to be had.
“One of the favorite times at Disneyland was Andrew’s meeting with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and Toy Story characters,” and Castro said after Andrew posed for photos with the Disney character crew, “They showed Andrew and his family where they all live!”
Although Andrew found his first Disneyland train ride a bit nerve wracking, he was “All aboard!” for his second spin. “He really enjoyed it,” said Castro, “and was able to enjoy the dinosaurs he saw on this ride.”
Andrew also enjoyed the Star Wars and Galaxy Wars attractions, and Cars Land at California Adventure Park “was also a lot of fun,” said Castro, “even though his mom and sister Lezlee could not get on some of the rides because Lezlee was not tall enough.” But Andrew and his dad got to enjoy all the Cars Land rides.
Andrew ate his favorite foods and spent all his spending money “and then some... he bought a Mickey toy, dinosaur pillow, hat, shirt and a plane,” one of the stars of the Disney film “Planes”. Andrew, who has cystic fibrosis, also enjoyed the hotel pool.
“He said it was a super, super, super trip and he wants to do it again,” said Castro, a Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties volunteer for about a decade. She added that Andrew’s mother, Vianca, “thanked everyone for making Andrew’s wish become real... they will never forget what the foundation has done for Andrew and all of them.”
Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. Wish Granters are volunteers that work with the family and social workers, physicians or others during the process required for the child’s wish to come through.
According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can have positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family.
With a staff of only four and the help of more than 100 volunteers, Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties has granted over 1200 special wishes to children in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. If you want to refer a child to Make-A-Wish, call 1-888-899-9474 [WISH]. Donations may be sent to Make-A-Wish at 4222 Market Street, Suite D, Ventura CA 93003. For more information visit the website: www.tri-counties.wish.org.