PUEBLO, Colo. - A child with a life-threatening illness got her wish granted by an organization in Pueblo dedicated to making children's dreams come true.
Makenzy Belcher, 3, has glucose transporter deficiency syndrome, known as GLUT1 for short. She's missing the gene that transports sugar to the brain. She is one of only 500 people in the world who have been diagnosed with the disease. She has physical and mental delays because of the disease.
Makenzy is on a special high-fat diet to help reduce her severe seizures.
Makenzy's mom and dad, Terri and Jason Belcher, said raising their daughter has been a team effort.
"When you first leave the hospital, they teach you how to change a diaper, everything for a normal kid. They don't teach you how to take care of a disabled kid so it's been rough trying to learn on your own," sad Jason.
The Belcher family found support through Dream Weavers of Southern Colorado. Terri and Jason have found comfort in speaking with parents who understand the joys and struggles of raising children with disabilities.
The nonprofit organization also grants children's wishes. Makenzy's wish is to go to Disney World. The organization is providing free transportation for the family to Disney World as well as spending money while Makenzy and her five sisters.
The trip is a treat for a family who has to spend most of its paychecks on Makenzy's special needs. Jason said that the family's insurance company often doesn't cover costs for certain things up front -- sometimes Makenzy's medicine can cost up to $1,000. The family sold T-shirts to raise money for a trip to Dallas to visit one of only three doctors in the U.S. that specializes in GLUT1.
This trip to Florida will be the first time Makenzy and her sisters have flown in a plane. Her sisters said they are nervous but excited.
Terri jokes her family is tried of hearing her rattle off her to-do lists before their June 27th departure.
"Mom has tons of to-do lists that they are all tired of. Like this has to be on your carry on, this you won't see for a whole entire day so if you need it within the day, forget it," said Terri.
Terri and Jason said while raising a child with disabilities can be a challenge, Makenzy brings so much joy to their lives.
"She tries and she strives for everything, she doesn't give up. Even when we want to give up, she doesn't give up," said Terri. "She just has touched so many lives. What she has taught us in three years, none of us would have ever known in a lifetime."
The couple said their outgoing and energetic 3-year-old is ready for Disney World. They can't wait to see her reaction when she meets the Disney characters.
Jason said he plans to post photos of Makenzy's Facebook fan page during the trip for people who have followed his daughter's journey on the social media site.