Mother’s Final Dream is One for her Children
Santa Barbara, CA – Dream Foundation – the first and largest national wish-granting organization for adults and their families suffering life-threatening illness – will fulfill Julie Harding-Beck’s final wish to bring joy to the lives of her three children, who have been devastated by the effects of terminal illness.
With a prognosis of less than six months due to advanced-stage breast cancer, Julie, a 43-year-old Oceanside, Calif. resident and single mother will be taking her kids on the Disneyland vacation she’s always dreamed – but never been able – to realize on her own.
“My children’s lives have been filled with cancer and sickness for three years,” Julie tells Dream Foundation. “They need to know some happiness.”
At 2:30 p.m., Friday, February 22, Genentech volunteers representing the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based foundation will arrive at Julie’s home, 2014 San Remo Dr., Oceanside – presenting her and her kids with four nights’ accommodations at the Sheraton Anaheim Hotel (for March 3-7) and tickets for two days at Disneyland and one day at Universal Studios. To enhance the dream experience, the volunteers will surprise the 12-year-old and eight-year-old twins with Disney-themed treats and memorabilia. A professional photographer will be there to capture the memories unfolding.
Julie’s Disney dream is emerging amid considerable hardship. A 13-year teacher in the Oceanside Unified School District, she had felt healthy and fulfilled in her career and personal life. Then in 2009 she received her cancer diagnosis. By 2010 her doctor had given her a two percent chance of survival. Three months after that, she says her husband left, “unable to deal with the stresses of it all.” Now, amid frequent and aggressive medical treatments, Julie struggles to raise her family on disability payments alone.
According to Dream Foundation President and Founder, Thomas Rollerson, the opportunity for a special vacation and – more importantly – making permanent, lasting memories, is crucial for this family. “Coping with the impending loss of their mother is the most difficult challenge these children will ever face. It is our mission to provide them whatever joy we can. Helping make a final dream come true for people like Julie is our daily inspiration.”