For wishes – from memories

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One special week 33 years ago has been the source of joy and comfort and happy memories for one local family.

Floyd and Nancy Turner’s oldest son Patrick was diagnosed with terminal Ewing Sarcoma, a type of soft tissue cancer, when he was seven years old. He endured surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and multiple hospital stays.

As the cancer advanced, the family was referred to Wishing Star in hopes that Patrick would be granted a special wish. The organization met with Patrick and asked him for his top three wishes, one of which was a trip to Disneyland.

Thirty-three years ago Wishing Star sent the entire Turner family to Disneyland. Floyd and Nancy Turner's son Patrick, center, had terminal cancer and the week's stay gave the family a chance to create new memories together. Mrs. Turner is holding Marissa and Travis and Tim are pictured alongside their brother.

Thirty-three years ago Wishing Star sent the entire Turner family to Disneyland. Floyd and Nancy Turner’s son Patrick, center, had terminal cancer and the week’s stay gave the family a chance to create new memories together. Mrs. Turner is holding Marissa and Travis and Tim are pictured alongside their brother.

Wishing Star granted that wish for Patrick and he and his family spent a week in the Magic Kingdom before he passed just a week later.

Now, the Turner family hopes to be able to raise $5,000 in memory of their son to allow Wishing Star to grant a wish for another child.

For the Turner family, the week at Disneyland has provided wonderful memories for them since their son’s passing.

“The staff thought of every last detail and arranged for transportation from the airport in a fun bus for the family,” she said.

The family was able to have breakfast with the characters, and medical professionals were standing by in case they were needed. Though Patrick was not able to enjoy all the rides, he loved the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and rode it as much as possible, his parents recalled.

“He also loved spending money from his recent birthday on anything he wanted,” Mrs. Turner said.

Mr. Turner said the whole family was impressed with what the Wishing Star Foundation did for them and for Patrick.

The Turners said the week away gave the family a chance to leave behind their reality for a short time and create happy memories that would last a lifetime.

“Patrick was able to forget his illness and enjoy being a little boy,” Mrs. Turner said. “Patrick couldn’t wait to get back home and tell his friends and family about the trip and show off all his new treasures.”

Patrick touched many lives, and was a son, brother, cousin, nephew and grandson. But in the end, he was a young boy with the courage of man, Mrs. Turner said.

“If Patrick had lived he would be turning 40 this year on April 29,” Mrs. Turner said. “As a way to honor his memory and celebrate this milestone birthday, his family hopes to pay their blessings forward and raise enough money to grant a wish to another deserving child.”

The average cost of a wish is $5,000 and the family hopes to raise that before April 29. Wishing Star was a newly founded organization when Patrick’s wish was granted, doing three wishes a year. Since then, more than 1,000 children with life-threatening illness have been granted a wish.

Floyd and Nancy Turner hold one of their late son Patrick's favorite stuffed animals that he purchased with his birthday money. The family was granted a wish when Patrick was ill to go to Disneyland for a week and now they want to raise money in order that another child might have a wish granted.

Floyd and Nancy Turner hold one of their late son Patrick’s favorite stuffed animals that he purchased with his birthday money. The family was granted a wish when Patrick was ill to go to Disneyland for a week and now they want to raise money in order that another child might have a wish granted.

To support the Turner’s as they honor Patrick’s memory donate online at wishingstar.org or drop a check in the mail to Wishing Star, 139 S. Sherman, Spokane, 99202. Checks may also be dropped off to Floyd and Nancy Turner at Four Season’s Realty in St. Maries.

Checks, whether mailed or dropped off at Four Season’s Realty, should be payable to Wishing Star and in the memo section of the check be sure to note it is in Patrick’s memory, so the family can track their progress.

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