November 10, 2019

“Can we ever go back on a Disney Cruise again?” They may just be two and five years old, but they are asking the right questions.  Spending an entire week with Cinderella, Tiana, and Mickey Mouse would be memorable for any kid. But for their mom and dad, it was all about spending time with the people they love. 

Tyson was diagnosed with ALS last year. He and his wife Kristen decided after a few weeks that they had two options. The first option was to be sad and depressed. The second was to be happy and live. They chose option two. Kristen googled ALS a thousand times after her husband was diagnosed and found out about Team Gleason.  With some encouragement from friends they reached out to us.  We were more than happy to help send them on a grand adventure across the sea on a Disney Cruise.

For the family, going to the beach was the most daunting part of their trip. They didn’t know if Tyson would be able to get onto the sand or if he would have to watch from a distance. But, the beach was easily accessible and for Kristen, “just to be able to put his feet in the sand was so great to see.”

To make it an even more memorable trip, Tyson’s father, his sister, and her family were able to come on the cruise.  Looking back, Kristen felt the most memorable part of the trip was having dinner  with loved ones every night and spending time together.

As for Tyson, it’s best to let him speak for himself using his eye tracking device:

dear Gleason foundation,

when I was first diagnosed with als ,I wasn’t sure about a lot of things, but I was certain that I wanted to keep things as normal as possible for my kids. they mean everything to me and are a constant source of joy in my life. when I found out about Gleason adventures I knew right away that I wanted to do something that our entire family would enjoy. we had discussed Disney cruises before and thought they might be too expensive, so when your organization made that possible, my wife Kristen and I couldn’t wait to tell the kids. I’m sure Kristen already sent you the video of the surprise but needless to say,they were completely surprised and excited.

traveling with als is challenging to say the least. with assistance from Gleason, delta Airlines, and Disney,it went more smoothly than we could’ve imagined. the cruise was absolutely amazing. the ship was beautiful,the service was world class ,and the food was incredible! the best part was that my dad and sister’s family joined us as well. my kids were excited to have their papa, aunt and uncle and cousins with us. I was excited to spend quality time with my dad and sister . I am grateful for the time I got to spend with them on this trip.

I will cherish the memory of the joy this gave my kids the rest of my life. what Gleason foundation does is a wonderful thing . not only does it give people with als something to look forward to , but it gets people living with this disease out and brings awareness, which is critical in finding a cure. again ,thank you for what you did for my family. it truly was the trip of a lifetime.

sincerely ,