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Father dashes Make-A-Wish dream for daughter

Whitney Hughes and daughter McKenna May (Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)The mother and grandmother of 4-year-old McKenna May, who survived leukemia, are collecting money to get the little Ohio girl to Disney World after her father nixed a Make-A-Wish trip to the theme park.

McKenna's father, William May of Toledo, said using Make-A-Wish money for a child who is "free and clear" of illness is an improper use of donations made to the organization. "I think it should go to kids who only have six months to live," he told the Sentinel-Tribune of Bowling Green, Ohio.

The charity requires that parents have to sign off for a child to accept a trip.

After going through two years of cancer treatment that included spinal taps, chemotherapy and hospitalizations because of reactions to the treatments, McKenna's mother, Whitney Hughes, and grandmother, Lori Helppie, feel she deserves the trip.

So they've pulled their family's request with Make-A-Wish and are placing collection jars around the community to raise the needed $3,500 to fund the trip on their own.

The important thing is to get her there," Helppie told the newspaper. "She loves Mickey Mouse. She loves Cinderella." "She's really excited," Hughes said. "It's all she's talked about for the last three months."

Helppie and Hughes are outraged at May's refusal and claim McKenna's father is just trying to get back at them over visitation privileges. May was just granted visitation earlier this year, according to the Sentinel-Tribune.

The father, however, blames McKenna's mother and grandmother for keeping him from seeing his daughter. "I wasn't allowed to be involved," May said. "It ticked me off."

Susan McConnell, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish for Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, said that McKenna clearly qualifies for a wish since she has gone through so much in her two-year struggle to beat leukemia, the newspaper reported.

McConnell said it is unfortunate that the family yanked their request for a wish since the father wouldn't sign off. "She's been through a lot," she said of McKenna. "What I really feel bad about is she is stuck in the middle."

What do you think of this? Who do you agree with?

by on Jul. 18, 2012 at 3:56 PM
Replies (41-50):
by on Jul. 20, 2012 at 4:38 AM
by on Jul. 20, 2012 at 5:18 AM

I think the dad is being ridiculous. She deserves to go!

by on Jul. 20, 2012 at 5:18 AM
1 mom liked this
What an a-hole! She went through soo much and he denied her a dream vacation just get back at his ex! Father of the year....NOT!!!!!!
by New Member on Jul. 20, 2012 at 5:46 AM

Since when does it cost 3500 to go to disney? Last I checked, tickets were $89. They taking 20 people with them? Anyway, the foundation was still willing to pay for her, she was excited to go, the father shouldn't have taken that away from her. And since her mom has custody, why did her dad have to sign for her anyway?

by New Member on Jul. 20, 2012 at 5:50 AM
3 moms liked this

my daughter was diagnosed with luekemia when she was 2, she went through 3 years of therapy. Make-a-wish helped us out and gave her a trip, she is now 11 and they sent her to a camp in montana. i personally think that the father is out of line. those kids go through hell and back they deserve those trips wether they are in remission or not. they survived that is cause for celebration in my opinion.


by on Jul. 20, 2012 at 6:15 AM

LET THE POOR GIRL GO! She'll never be "free and clear". There will ALWAYS be that worry it will come back. 

by on Jul. 20, 2012 at 6:46 AM
2 moms liked this

 This is sad. Even if the mother and grandmother wouldn't let him visit it is a shitty thing to do to his daughter, and after she has been through so much. If he really loved her he would not have acted so immature. Sounds like he wants to punish his daughter for her mothers actions. Maybe this is why he does not have custody in the first place.

by on Jul. 20, 2012 at 7:05 AM

I think needs-based judging is asinine.


by on Jul. 20, 2012 at 7:06 AM
2 moms liked this

As the mom of a child who went through cancer treatments, I have seen kids with "6 or less" months to live. Most (that I have met) at that stage are not going to up to a trip to Disney. The father also needs to take into consideration that Make-a-wish is not only for children who have cancer as many people believe but for children with any chronic, life threatening condition. I have a friend who son was granted a MAW trip because of severe hemophilia. Did the dad ever consider that the little girl's cancer can come back? My daughter's did, twice. The child does deserve this trip after everything she has been through and I think dad either does not fully comprehend the purpose of MAW, is using the "6 months" thing as an excuse of retaliation over his unhappiness with the visitation arrangements, or a combination of both.

by Member on Jul. 20, 2012 at 7:07 AM
1 mom liked this

If Make a Wish foundation feels it is okay (which in the article they say they do), then I think it is okay.

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