MONTEVALLO, Alabama — Moments before Mickey Mouse took the stage at Montevallo Elementary this afternoon, second-grader Cheyenne Posey sat with her face in her hands.
One by one her parents and others came on stage each holding a sign with one word: “You’re … going … to … Disney … Cheyenne.” With the last word displayed, Cheyenne threw her hands in the air and cheered.
Cheyenne, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder called glutaric acidemia type I that prevents her body from processing some protein, received the trip with her family from the Birmingham-based Magic Moments organization that grants wishes to severely sick children in Alabama.
“That’s the ultimate goal of Magic Moments is to be the light at the end of the tunnel” for children who have suffered a life-threatening illness or chronic life-threatening disease, said Kaitlin Bitz, statewide coordinator for Magic Moments. “It gives them a chance to be a kid again.”
Magic Moments granted the wish requested by Cheyenne’s parents to take the 8-year-old to Walt Disney World, where she and her family will visit July 28 through Aug. 3.
“I think it’s going to be an amazing experience for her,” said Cheyenne’s mom, Lacy Shannon of Hoover.
“We talk to her a lot about being appreciative of the things she gets,” Shannon said. “This is kind of a way to say thank you to her for being brave and to celebrate everything she’s been through and what she’s persevered through.”
Cheyenne’s dad, Shannon Posey, said his daughter since birth has had the disorder. “She’s limited in the foods she can consume,” which means less than 26 grams of protein daily, he said.
She has low muscle tone and cannot play certain sports and be active the same way as other children. “She tires more easily than other kids,” Posey said.
Magic Moments arranged to surprise Cheyenne and her 11-year-old brother, Cody, with the presentation involving Mickey Mouse at the school today. Second-graders gathered in the lunchroom and awaited the announcement with Cheyenne and Cody.
“It meant the world to us just to be recognized,” Posey said after the presentation.
Representing the Magic Moments organization were Randall Posey and his daughter Megan, who are unrelated to Cheyenne and her family. “It’s an amazing opportunity to be involved in something like this,” Megan Posey said. “To bring other people happiness is just wonderful and amazing.”
A wide smile remained on Cheyenne’s face during the surprise announcement. “I thought it was amazing,” said Cheyenne, wearing a red-and-white striped shirt with a picture of Mickey on it along with a red skirt with white polka dots reminiscent of Minnie Mouse.
Grabbing helium-filled balloons on a string before leaving the lunchroom, she waved and said, “Thank you, Mickey.”