Dad Denies Disney Trip For Daughter Who Battled Leukemia

Four-year-old McKenna May got the OK from Make-A-Wish, but her father wouldn't sign off.

The fate of four-year-old McKenna May's Disney plans are in doubt since her father refused to sign off on the Make-A-Wish trip. (Photo: Peter Adams)

Jul 19, 2012
Jeannine Stein, a California native, wrote about health for the Los Angeles Times. In her pursuit of a healthy lifestyle she has taken countless fitness classes, hiked in Nepal and got in a boxing ring.

An Ohio man wouldn’t sign off on his daughter’s Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World after she finished her leukemia treatments because he doesn’t think children who are “cured” should be eligible.

The story, reported in the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune, said that four-year-old McKenna May got the OK from the charitable organization, but the foundation requires that both parents sign off. Her mother did, but her father, who lives in another city, did not.

The newspaper said William May believes that spending money on a child who is “free and clear” of an illness is an inappropriate use of donations.

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“I think it should go to kids who only have six months to live,” he was quoted as saying.

Back-and-forth accusations among the girl’s father, mother, and maternal grandmother hint at a conflict over visitation privileges, but May contends that’s not the reason for his refusal.

Should there be any doubt about what McKenna has gone through during her treatment since her 2010 diagnosis, the paper listed 15 spinal taps, several chemotherapy treatments, hospitalizations for high fevers, and steroid injections. If there is no recurrence of the disease, she won’t be considered free and clear of it for five years.

McKenna’s mother, Whitney Hughes, says that the Disney request has been withdrawn, and donation jars have been placed in businesses around Bowling Green. They plan to drive to Disney to save money.

“She’s really excited,” Hughes said. “It’s all she’s talked about for the last three months.”

Those who would like to contribute to McKenna’s Disney trip may send donations to the benefit account for McKenna May, 5/3 Bank, 275 South Main Street, Bowling Green, Ohio 43402.

What message would you like to pass along to McKenna? Write it in the comments.

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