ORLANDO, Fla. — It was supposed to be a special trip to celebrate their son’s successful battle with cancer, but Hurricane Irma had different plans.
The family of David and Tamra Baker booked a visit to Disney World, Universal Studios, Kennedy Space Center and other Florida parks through the Make-A-Wish Foundation last week. But as the storm approached, their visit was modified.
“We flew to Florida on Wednesday and the storm came Saturday,” Tamra Baker said. "They kind of closed everything down in Orlando, all the parks on Saturday evening, and then we were put on mandatory curfew Sunday."
The Orem family was forced to stay indoors while Hurricane Irma brought high winds and record rainfall to the area.
The family of seven played board games in their room while the hallway of their hotel flooded.
“There were a number of locals who said they've lived through a number of hurricanes but this was the first one we were concerned about,” David Baker said.
The Bakers said the trip was supposed to be a memorable one for their 10-year-old son Jared.
“He kept saying he wanted to do something that the whole family could enjoy because he appreciated the love and support they gave him as he was going through all those treatments,” David Baker said.
A year ago, Jared was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin lymphoma. He went through months of successful treatments and this summer announced he was in remission.
“I remember having to have shots every day,” Jared said.
It was a painful time that he wanted to put in the past with a fun trip. The Make-A-Wish Foundation awarded him a trip to Florida.
Despite the storm and after five days of bad weather, Jared’s father was able to enjoy seven parks.
“We were able to make it to all of those, but unfortunately some of the rides had been damaged,” he said.
The family was supposed to get back to Utah on Tuesday but their trip was extended to the end of the week.
Jared was grateful to spend time together as a family after such a difficult year.
“I'm glad we came,” he said. “We had fun together going to the parks that were open.”
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