BEACON FALLS — For young Caitlin Acevedo, dreams do come true.
Come May 15, Caitlin and her family will be off on a dream trip to Florida for an intimate look into the land of magic courtesy of Dream Come True of Western Connecticut.
“It’s going to be absolutely great for Caitlin to have the opportunity to experience Disney and swim with the dolphins,” said Leticia Acevedo, Caitlin’s mother.
Caitlin is 9 years old. She lives in Beacon Falls and like many children her age, she attends Laurel Ledge Elementary School. Unlike many children her age, Caitlin is afflicted with many medical ailments including seizures and chronic lung disease. Caitlin can’t speak and needs the help of a breathing tube to breath.
For one week though, Caitlin will be living a dream.
“For us it’s a big thing,” said Jose Acevedo, Caitlin’s father, about the dream trip, “because we always try to make her part of everything we do as a family.”
Dream Come True of Western Connecticut is a non-profit organization that fulfills dreams for chronically, seriously and terminally ill children between the ages of 4 and 19. The organization serves children in Fairfield, Litchfield and New Haven counties. The organization is completely volunteer-run and relies on donations to turn a dream into reality.
“It’s a very small, but hard working group of people who do it. But, it’s really worth it,” said Kathie Rocco, a volunteer with the organization’s Dream Committee.
On May 7, all the work paid off as Rocco and Fred Izzo, a member of the organization’s board of directors, met Caitlin and about two dozen members of her family at Antonio’s Restaurant for a “von voyage” party.
“We’re all very excited about this,” Leticia said.
Caitlin’s pediatrician referred the Acevedo’s to Dream Come True last year. After a year’s worth of planning, Caitlin, her parents, two younger sisters, Destiny and Ely, and younger brother, Edward, are off for a week-long excursion.
The family leaves May 15 for the trip, which will take them to the Give Kids the World Village in Florida. The village caters to medically-challenged children and provides them and their families with once-in-a-lifetime access into Florida’s attraction, including Disney World.
Mickey Mouse will have to share Caitlin during the week though. As part of the Acevedo’s trip, Caitlin will get the chance to swim with the dolphins at Sea World.
With the trip mere days away, everyone was excited for Caitlin.
“She loves being around children, she loves the outdoors, and she loves the water,” Jose said.
For more information or to refer a child to Dream Come True of Western Connecticut call (203) 790-7333 or visit www.dreamcometruect.org.