By MARY CARPENTER
Will Nichols is an active 5 year old with a big imagination and heart for Alabama football, and this Thanksgiving, he is getting his wish fulfilled: a trip to Disney World with his family.
But just two years ago, Will Nichols faced something no child should, cancer. However, after fighting for 18 months, he is getting to revel in being a kid again and being “all boy,” as his mother describes him.
Over the summer, Will was asked to come up with a drawing for the holiday card for Magic Moments, Alabama’s oldest wish-granting organization. To submit artwork a child must be between the ages of 4 and 18 and have battled a critical illness. If his picture was selected, it would be turned into a holiday card this winter, and his wish would be granted of going to Disney World.
Although thinking of a winter card in the hot Alabama summer was somewhat difficult, Will thought about the past year’s snow storm. He remembered enjoying gathering the snow, shaping it into round balls, and creating a snowman. This memory got his creative juices flowing, and his submission for the holiday card was born.
Early this fall, Will found out his wish would come true. His artistic and colorful picture of a snowman sporting a red hat (for Bama, of course) in the snow was the winner of Magic Moments’ holiday card and would be printed for the upcoming season.
For the entire week of Thanksgiving, Will and his family celebrated and gave thanks to the special folks at Magic Moments in Disney World. What was on Will’s to-do list? A swim with the dolphins, a visit to the Toy Story section with hopes of seeing Buzz Lightyear and Bullseye, and a ride on Space Mountain. Will made sure he fit the required height of most rides by measuring himself, and lucky for him, he did.
Just talking about his trip made Will beam with excitement, as it’s well deserved not just for him.
“This is really quite special for both his brother and sister, too, as they have been through this journey just as much,” said Rosemary Nichols, Will’s mom.
As for Will, he was just excited to visit a place where kids of all ages can be kids. Cancer certainly did not define him, but his courageous and outgoing spirit absolutely did.
To purchase Will’s card, visit www.magicmoments.org/holiday-cards.php or call the Magic Moments’ office, 939-9372.
Editor’s Note: For Will, and all other kids served by Magic Moments, receiving a wish is not tied to any other obligations or an award. A child is eligible for a wish if he/she has a life-threatening or life-altering medical condition that meets the organization’s medical criteria and is between the ages of 4-18 living in Alabama. The holiday card artwork request program is simply a way for Magic Moments to engage the children they serve in a rewarding and fun activity.