Trevor Peterson, a 6-year-old from Oakley, has a lot more on his plate than the average first-grader.
Born with a congenital heart defect, he had surgery as a baby. Now, he is being treated for juvenile arthritis, which affects his hands, wrists, elbows and ankles. He receives monthly infusions, which mean long days at the hospital and missing time from school at Gehringer Elementary.
But Trevor doesn’t let it get him down, according to his mom, Mindy Peterson.
“He has an amazing attitude,” she said. “He inspires everyone. He tries his best to be like every other kid.”
His family wanted to do something special for his birthday, so his grandmother, June Peterson, suggested applying to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children with critical illnesses.
“He has been through so much,” June said. “He’s our little warrior. I thought he would be a good candidate.”
Mindy was apprehensive, but she figured she would give it a try. The Petersons submitted an application in March for their family to go on a Disney cruise. Trevor loves Disney characters — especially the Marvel superheroes, Jack Sparrow, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.
Trevor’s doctor signed the paperwork immediately, and the Petersons got his application submitted. Then they waited. Mindy and her husband told Trevor about the proposal, but they urged him not to get his hopes up.
In August, Make-A-Wish volunteers delivered a box to their doorstep containing balloons, a superhero costume and a note: “Trevor, your wish to go on a Disney cruise is coming true!”
“He is so excited,” Mindy said, noting that Trevor and his 9-year-old brother, Anthony, have a daily countdown going until they leave. “Anthony is so good with him. If he had any other big brother, I don’t know that their relationship would be the same.”
The family of four will leave for their five-night, six-day cruise to the Bahamas’ Nassau and Disney’s own port, Castaway Cay, on Nov. 9. Mindy’s birthday also happens to be that week.
“I’m looking forward to all the excitement,” Mindy said. “The excitement for them to just be kids and not have to worry.”
“I’m thrilled about them being able to go as a family,” June added. “What an awesome opportunity for them.”