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Disney wish comes true for Muncy girl diagnosed with leukemia

By Staff | Oct 30, 2012

Hannah Freezer and her family returned from Florida where they visited many attractions including Disney World. They stayed at "Give Kids the World" Village, a place for children with life-threatening illnesses. Front row: Brenda Freezer, Sarah Freezer. Back row: Hannah Freezer, age 11, and Bob McManigal from Pennsdale.

MUNCY – Much thanks and a wonderful memory was given to 11 year old, Hannah Freezer, a Muncy student who was diagnosed with leukemia on April 30, 2011. On Sunday, October 21 she and her family returned from an all expense trip to Florida. This dream came true, thanks to the Lycoming County Brotherhood Alliance who sponsored the trip as part of their “Making Dreams Come True” campaign. “We sponsor about 4 or 5 of these trips a year for kids in the county,” said Bob McManigal from Pennsdale who coordinated the trip.

The organization was started in Lycoming County by four local police officers in 1952 when one of the officer’s decided to help a student with a trip to Pittsburgh. Board member, Bob McManigal organized the trip for Hannah Freezer, her sister, Sarah, and her parents, Brenda and Michael. Her grandparents, Cathy and Roger Prowant from S. Williamsport also went along.

Brenda Freezer said she found out about the trip for her daughter when she received a phone call from McManigal about a year ago. Her mother told her he would be calling. They had to wait sometime before Hannah’s three doctors would allow her to go. “She was pretty sick back then,” said Brenda Freezer. “We finally got the OK for this October, waiting for her blood count to be good,” Brenda added. “We wanted to go last April, but had to wait.”

The family picked up a direct flight to Orlando, Fla. from Rochester, NY on October 14. During the trip the family visited Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Studios. Hannah said this was her second trip to Disney. “I loved Animal Kingdom the best,” she said. They stayed at ‘Give Kids the World Village’, a 70 acre non-profit, “storybook” resort located near central Florida’s most visited attractions. The resort was established for children with life-threatening illnesses, so they and their families can be treated with a cost-free trip to all meals and feature attractions. The gates of Give Kids the World opened in 1989 by Henri Landwirth and today there are 140 Villa accommodations. “It was 20 minutes away from everything and a rental car took us where we wanted to go,” said Brenda. Sarah Freezer said there was a mini golf course, a carousel, horseback riding and even “ice cream for breakfast.” They also enjoyed two swimming pools and an enlarged human sized candy land game all under nice temperatures of 85 degrees. “Every Thursday is Christmas at the Village,” added Brenda when they made cookies and hand made ornaments. “Everything for the families was free,” she explained. “I have over 400 photos on my I-pod,” said Sarah.

“Each night when we would get back from the park to the Village, there was a gift for each kid,” Brenda said. When asked what her thoughts were on the trip, Hannah replied, “WOW!” Hannah did well on the trip and walked an average of 8 to 10 miles each day. She is still undertaking chemotherapy but was able to take a pill every day while on the trip.

Hannah Freezer from Muncy who has leukemia, poses with Mickey in Disney World this month. The all-expense trip was coordinated through the Lycoming County Brotherhood Alliance.

“We’ve sent many kids there for years, as well as some World Series games and events in Nashville,” explained McManigal. “We would not have been able to go without the Brotherhood Alliance,” said Brenda Freezer. This was a “once in a lifetime stay.” In the meantime, Hannah was able to place her name among the many gold stars that float on the ceiling at the Castle of Miracles. “It will be there forever,” she said.