SMYRNA, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Christmas came early Thursday for a special 12-year-old boy in Cobb County who lives with cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Thanks to an organization dedicated to creating memories for families, he learned Thursday he'll soon spend a week somewhere known as the “most magical place on earth.”
Ty Clinner and his family were bundled up in the cold waiting for the big surprise. It was an experience fitting for the boy, whose mother said enjoys having a good time.
“He is a jokester…first and foremost…he will make you laugh…the best smile, the best smile in the world,” said Crystal Clinner.
Ty is confined to a wheelchair and requires around-the-clock care, but his mother said his fight to survive inspires her each day.
“Some people go their whole life wanting to meet their hero…I got lucky to give birth to mine,” his mother said.
Ty's grandmother, Sharon Clinner, reached out to the group Baking Memories 4 Kids. Each year, the organization sells chocolate chip cookies to help children with life-threatening and terminal illnesses experience a vacation of a lifetime. They send the children and their families to Walt Disney World and other attractions in Florida, all expenses paid, for an entire week.
“Disbelief, just so thankful and so excited…I’ve never been to Disney either…this will be my first trip,” Ty’s grandmother said.
Ty’s family broke the news to the young man with the help of the Cobb County Fire Department and Baking Memories 4 Kids founder and cancer survivor Frank Squeo.
“I was born to give families that don’t have an opportunity like this...to give them a week they will never forget...For me, it’s like being Santa Claus times 100,” Squeo said.
Ty will take the trip with his family around his birthday in September.
“To me, this is something that I want him to remember…being able to do it with me,” his grandmother said. “We’re going to be having fun all week.”
Baking Memories 4 Kids would have surprised 146 families with week-long Disney trips by the end of this year.
Anyone who would like to learn more about the organization can visit bakingmemories4kids.com.