Dream Foundation to Grant Dying Florida Woman’s Final Dream for Orlando Thanksgiving with Family

Dream Foundation—the only national dream-granting organization for adults and their families battling life-threatening illness—will fulfill Evelyn Gardner’s dream to share Thanksgiving with her loved ones during a family getaway to Orlando.

The 68-year-old Mount Dora, Florida resident—who will be visiting Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando with her husband, children and grandchildren the week of Thanksgiving—is facing a prognosis of one year or less in her battle with stage IV small cell lung cancer. With doctor’s appointments, treatments and mounting medical bills, she was unable to bring them all together for the holiday without help.

At 6:30 p.m., Thursday, November 27, Gardner and her nine relatives will break from their theme park vacation to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner together at Mimi’s Café, 4175 Millenia Blvd., Orlando. Press is invited to attend.

According to Gardner, Thanksgiving—especially this year—holds special significance. “It’s been more than three years since my entire family has been together for Thanksgiving,” she says. “Being able to spend the holiday together this year means the world to me. They are looking forward to it and so am I.”

According to Dream Foundation Executive Director Kisa Heyer, Gardner’s dream to come together with her family for a holiday perfectly conveys the simplicity of many requests the foundation receives. “A dream for an adult is often a request to make memories with loved ones, especially children and grandchildren,” Heyer says. “At the end of the day it’s about gathering with loved ones over a special meal, spending a holiday together.”

Subscribe to our newsletter Sign up