From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:
It's place most eight year olds dream about... Disney World! And Conor McManus and his family are heading there right now. But for the McManus family, this trip has far bigger meaning.
"It will be fun because we'll be able to go on a trip without a hospital and no doctor appointments or anything," explains Trinty McManus, Conor's older sister. Her little brother suffers from a disease called neurofibromatosis or NF1.
"Basically, it's a condition where he gets tumors very easily. And he has gotten them on this side of his face. We have to go to Philadelphia every 3 months for treatment," says his father, Rod. He says Conor was diagnosed with the disease when he was just four months old. At a year and half, he lost his right eye. He has also lost hearing in his right ear.
Most of the family trips over the last 8 years have been to Pennsylvania where they spend time in the Children's Hospital getting treatment for Conor. But the family faces Conor's disease with positivity.
"I'm a firm believer that he was given to us so we could change and help him change as well," says Rod. But that doesn't mean it's easy. "There are days when I wish it was me."
A few months back, the Mcmanus family was nominated and won a trip to Disney World through Bert's Big Adventure. They are one of several families from across the country that will meet in Orlando. The families all have kids between the ages of 5 and 11 that have chronic or terminal illnesses.
"We're going to meet 11 other families that are kind of going through the same thing as us. So that's kind of nice that we'll be able to share some stories," says Rod.
It's a trip that will bring once in a life time memories. Conor says he's talked to his friends about what rides are the best. He says he's looking forward to Space Mountain the most.
The McManus family was the first family selected by Bert's Big Adventure from the Charleston area. They will spend five days in Orlando enjoying the Magic Kingdom.
Image courtesy of WCBD-TV.