Joshua’s Disney World and Discovery Cove Adventures

Joshua, who has myotonic dystrophy, had a blast at Disney World and Discovery Cove! He and his family visited Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. He rode on fun rides, cheered on the Festival of Fantasy parade, met Mickey and Donald Duck, and joined in on a dance party. At Discovery Cove, he played with dolphins and swam with fish, visited SeaWorld, and explored Sesame Street.

Family Thank You

“Joshua’s dream trip was the trip of a lifetime. Our first day was spent at SeaWorld, where he got to visit Sesame Street and see the parade, which he enjoyed. Our second day was spent at Magic Kingdom and Epcot. He got to ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and some other rides, and at Epcot, he got to ride Gran Fiesta starring Donald. The next day was Discovery Cove. This is where he got to interact with the dolphins and swim with fish. Joshua loves water, so this was a big highlight for him. He is sensitive to touch and sometimes doesn’t like touching some objects, but he couldn’t get enough of the feel of the dolphins; every time they swam by for him to touch, he smiled and laughed. After a rest day, we went to Hollywood Studios, where he got to go to the Disney Jr Dance Party and rode Toy Story Mania. When he heard some of his favorite songs at the dance party, he about jumped out of his chair.

Thank you to The Sunshine Foundation and to the donors who made this trip possible. The trip wouldn’t have been this good without the generous donation from the donors, which gave us the ability to give him everything he wanted. This has been a memorable trip and there are no words of thanks that can really emphasize the amount of appreciation we feel for your generosity.” – Joshua’s mom

Joshua’s Diagnosis

Joshua was diagnosed with myotonic dystrophy, which is a type of muscular dystrophy. Muscular dystrophy is a group of conditions that causes muscle shrinkage and weakness. In myotonic dystrophy, specifically, people’s voluntary muscles are weakened and they’re unable to voluntarily relax their muscles. As the Muscular Dystrophy Association explains it, “For example, it may be difficult for someone with DM [myotonic dystrophy] to let go of someone’s hand after shaking it.” Eventually, the heart and breathing muscles may become affected as well.


We’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the Adopt a Dream donors for answering Joshua’s dream!

Sunshine Foundation answers the dreams of children, ages three through eighteen, who have severe or profound physical/developmental/intellectual challenges or trauma from physical/sexual abuse, and whose families have limited income. Since 1976, Sunshine Foundation has spread Sunshine into the lives of more than 42,500 children.

Joshua swimming with the dolphins at SeaWorld
Joshua and his family at Magic Kingdom
Joshua meeting Donald Duck
Joshua and Donald Duck
Joshua having fun at SeaWorld
Joshua swimming with the dolphins at SeaWorld

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