Daniel's Story

A Birthday in the Bahamas

What a better way to celebrate your birthday than by receiving a Sunshine Dream come true. This past Spring, Daniel from Maple Ridge, British Columbia celebrated his sixteenth birthday on an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime adventure to Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas. It was an important trip for his family and a chance for them to spend some much needed time relaxing and creating positive memories.

Daniel lives with chronic kidney disease and a chromosome abnormality. Limited in his verbal skills, Daniel is extremely expressive and those who meet him love his energetic, full of life attitude. His goal on this trip was to relax, swim in the shallow waters with dolphins, and enjoy the thrills of the water slides with his parents and older brother Jeremy.

“I went on as many waterslides as I could,” says Daniel. “I loved the speed and the tunnels. And swimming with the dolphins was the best experience ever. I loved the way they moved and talked to me. It was very relaxing.”

The mid-February weather during his Sunshine Dream trip was perfect for walking around the marina admiring the big yachts, eating ice cream, and listening to local drummers. Daniel's favourite part was the mix of excitement and relaxation.

Since returning from his trip, Daniel shares his experience with everyone he meets, especially those who recognize him from the local newspaper that profiled his Sunshine Dream Presentation at his local WINNERS and HomeSense store in Maple Ridge where he was joined by Sunshine Bear and a local RCMP officer as well as store associates and local volunteers, all gathered to wish him “Bon Voyage”.

“The Sunshine Foundation gives kids an opportunity to do something they dream about. As parents, we are fortunate to have a child that, in the midst of challenges, has inspired many people to look at life through a different set of lenses.” - Liliana, Daniel's Mom