With his passport in hand and a backpack on his shoulders, Mattias Beck and his family were ready to head to Disney World.
Last weekend, the Campbell River-based family stood in the boarding lounge at the Comox Valley Airport ready for what was already set to be a special trip, but the send-off Beck was about to receive made the departure just a little bit more special.
Beck, 15, suffers from a severe cardiovascular disease and was referred to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of B.C. & Yukon to have one of his wishes granted, explained Stuart Chase, director of marketing and communications for the organization.
A week-long trip, along with park hopper passes, a meet-and-greet and a stay at Give Kids The World Village was what the family was prepared for, however, within minutes of boarding the plane from Comox, they received an extra special surprise.
Members of the Comox Valley Geek Society and the Wasu’ran Clan-British Columbia Mandalorian Mercan worked together with local WestJet associates and Airline Support Services to create a Star Wars bon voyage send-off fit for a galaxy not-so-far-away.
“It was really cool to see a small community rally together. WestJet, the airport employees and cosplay groups came together to make magic happen,” noted Chase.
Community members dressed up in character and surprised Beck with a helmet, escorted him onto the airfield toward the plane, and had him walk under an arch of lightsabers en route to boarding.
“It was really cool,” added Chase who explained they have been working on Beck’s year since March 2019.
Last year, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of B.C. & Yukon granted 151 wishes, which was the most of any chapter in Canada. Currently, they are working on 70 wishes for kids around the province.
“Our main goal is to reach every eligible child.”
The Beck family will spend one week in Florida and return to the Island this weekend.
For more information about the foundation, visit www.makeawishbc.ca.