by: Nelson Hicks Updated:
COLLEGE PARK, Ga.,None - Twelve kids with chronic or terminal illnesses are headed to Disney World, and their families are going with them, thanks to Bert's Big Adventure.
Bert's Big Adventure is the nonprofit organization started by Q100's Bert Weiss from "The Bert Show" and his wife, Stacey. The organization offers children between the ages of 5 to 12, who prove financial need and live in the Atlanta area, the opportunity to experience a magical weekend at Walt Disney World.
Bert's Big Adventure, in conjunction with Q100, held a sendoff bash Thursday morning at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel at the Atlanta airport. Q100 broadcast its morning show from the hotel as the 12 kids and their families enjoyed meeting Disney characters, a magic show, playing video games and having their faces painted. The families participated in the morning show by telling their stories.
Following the sendoff party, the group was headed to the airport to take off in a private plane for a five-day VIP Disney trip.
This year marks the 10th anniversary trip and included several surprises. One family received a free custom van to transport their daughter who has spina bifida and mild cerebral palsy around. Until now, the mother could not take the daughter in the car by herself because she couldn't lift the girl into the vehicle.
Another family will see their mom and dad get married at Disney. Eleven-year-old Gabe Parker's mom and dad had their Mexico wedding paid for when Gabe, who has lymphoma and a metabolic disorder, had to be rushed to the hospital. They spent the next several months in the hospital as Gabe fought for his life. This weekend, Gabe and his brother and sister will take part in the wedding that never happened. The parents will get to enjoy a Costa Rican honeymoon, too.
If you know of a deserving family or want to donate, check out Bert's Big Adventure on the Web.