Making Dreams Come True
for children with life-threatening illnesses
The Power of a Dream Fulfilled
Every year, thousands of families are given the news that their child has cancer or some other life-threatening illness. Many of them live right here on the First Coast. For these families, life is instantly changed. School days are replaced with hospital stays, play dates are exchanged for radiation treatments, and the simple joy of watching their child sleep silently in bed is now shadowed by the fear that he or she may not reach another birthday.
Dreams Come True exists to help these brave children and their families find a momentary reprieve from the stress and struggles associated with battling a serious illness. We do this through the fulfillment of dreams. For some children, that’s a special day at Disney World or a shopping spree in New York City, but it can also be something as simple as a new furry friend. Dreams bring hope and light to families facing some of their darkest days, and can give these amazing children the strength to defy the odds. That’s the true power of a dream fulfilled.
If you would like to help fulfill the dreams of local children battling life-threatening illnesses, please visit our Get Involved page to learn more about how you can make a difference. You can also donate online today!
National Donate Life Month
April is National Donate Life Month. More than 1,900 children under the age of 18 are on the national transplant waiting list, like our Dreamer Andrew.
Andrew was recently featured in North Jax Monthly to share his journey and bring awareness to organ donation.
In September 2021, we fulfilled Andrew’s dream when we surprised him with his Electronic Shopping Dream. His dream was to build his own gaming computer and now he has everything at his fingertips to make it happen!
Follow us on social media to hear more about our Dreamers, events and opportunities to get involved:
Meet Some of Our Dreamers
Since 1984, Dreams Come True has fulfilled the dreams of more than 4,000 local children. We actively work with more than 400 families each year, planning and scheduling upcoming dreams. The Dreamers below represent some of the children who are still deciding on the perfect dream, or have see their dreams turned into realities with the help of our generous sponsors and donors. We thank you for taking the time to watch these short videos and getting to know a little more about their journeys.
Rian Dreams Big
Rue’s New Friend
I’m Dreaming Of…
Dreams Come True never turns away a child or puts them on a waiting list because there is no guarantee of tomorrow. But, we can’t do it without your help. The typical dream averages $3,300 to $7,200, depending on the number of family members and the complexity of the dream. We are actively seeking individuals, schools, groups and companies to help fund the following Dreamers who have yet to experience the power of a dream fulfilled.
Diagnosis: Severe Congenital Neuropenia
Dream: Still Dreaming
Area of Town: Avondale/Ortega
Severe congenital neutropenia is a rare bone marrow disorder where marrow does not produce neutrophils (white blood cells that fight infection). The only option for George was to have a bone marrow transplant. While waiting to reach the appropriate age for the transplant, George maintained his blood with shots, which helped stimulate his marrow. Unfortunately, he was in and out of hospitals during those two years due to various illnesses. Finally, in 2019 at the age of two, George was old enough to have his transplant, and his sister (Kate) was a perfect match. Today, George is doing really well, considering all he has been through since birth. According to his family he has taken all of this with a great attitude and strength.
Diagnosis: Stage 3 Rhabdomyscaroma
Dream: Claw Machine (Fulfilled in 2021)
Area of Town: St. Johns
Ava was diagnosed with a stage 3 rhabdomyosarcoma inoperable tumor on July 8, 2020, at age seven. Rhabdomyosarcoma is a type of cancer that affects muscle tissue.
She is currently participating in a clinical trial, which involves one year and four months of treatment. So far, her treatment has included chemotherapy at Wolfson Children’s Hospital and 33 proton therapy radiation treatments at the UF Proton Therapy Institute. Ava is currently in her maintenance stage, and will conclude this November if her tumor remains stable.
Ava LOVES claw machines, and for her dream, she wanted her own claw machine to enjoy for years to come. We were able to secure a machine and have it wrapped and personalized. The machine was filled with specific stuffed animals and toys so she can enjoy it every day.
Diagnosis: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS)
Dream: Zoo Dream (Fulfilled in 2021)
Area of Town: Jacksonville
For Whitney, a day at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens was the perfect dream! Whitney was diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), a severe form of epilepsy that causes intractable seizures. Before her dream, Whitney never had the opportunity to interact with animals. On her special day, she enjoyed meeting the animals up close, including her favorite, the goats! This was not only a special experience for Whitney, but also for her mom (Shirley) who loved spending a relaxing day with her daughter.