Born with a serious liver disorder, he underwent a lifesaving liver transplant when he was only two and a half. And who was the lifesaver that donated part of his liver? His hero dad.
Now five years old, Philip loves building things with LEGOs and watching YouTube videos of kids staying at the LEGOLAND Hotel. He wanted to see this wonderful world for himself and told his Make-A-Wish volunteers that he wished to go to LEGOLAND in California (and stay in a pirate-themed room!)
The family’s adventure was full of new experiences and wonderful memories. Philip got to ride his very first roller coaster. “He was hooked!” his mom, Kimberly, said. “The parks were always empty, so we got to do everything multiple times.” They also got to visit the sea creatures at the resort’s Sea Life Aquarium and explore the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
A major highlight of the trip, however, was the Master Model Builder Session at LEGOLAND.
“One of my favorite parts was watching him interact with the master builder," said Kimberly. "He had so much fun picking out the pieces to make his LEGO self (he picked blue hair!) Then watching him pick where he wanted to place his LEGO guy in Miniland forever. He chose right next to the Freedom Tower in New York City, holding onto the fire truck - I mean how could he not, when his firefighter dad’s liver is a part of him!”
Philip’s wish was not only a positive experience for him, but it also created a life-long memory for the whole family.
“It was amazing for us all to be together and healthy and able to enjoy a trip with no worries from start to finish,” said Kimberly. “It was so much fun to see Philip being adventurous and gaining so much confidence on the trip.”