Fifteen-year-old Yosif Clark’s dream of a trip to Central Florida’s theme parks recently became real thanks to the Sunshine Foundation, an organization that makes dreams come true for children with lifelong chronic illnesses and conditions.
Clark, who lives in Court House with his older brother, younger sister and mother, Ranya Osman, has severe level three autism and intermittent explosive disorder, which is characterized by outbursts of anger and violence in a reaction out of proportion to the situation.
His mother said the trip was “a wonderful experience” for her son and her family.
“It was our first time going to Florida, to the theme parks, and it was a really amazing trip,” Osman said. “We had an interesting drive to Florida and back, and it gave us an experience that we could never afford.”
The family visited EPCOT, Universal Studios, Legoland and Hollywood Studios, according to Osman, who said her son “loves Disney movies and anything from Pixar. We didn’t get to go on too many rides in Hollywood Studios because the lines were so long, but it was such a great experience for all of us.”
She and her family moved from Harlem to the Cape May area in 2015. She juggles three jobs – she is a home health aide, manages an Airbnb and cleans houses – and is a single mom with a partner who helps part time. She learned about the Sunshine Foundation from another parent who has a special needs child and “was blessed with their generosity, and she paid it forward.”
“I think every family who has a special needs child should have the opportunity for a dream to come true,” Osman said. “While I would love to apply again, I want other children to have the opportunity that we did.”
The Sunshine Foundation relies on the generosity of individuals, organizations and corporations. Clark’s trip was made possible through a donation from the Sunshine Foundation All-Volunteer Ocean City Cape Atlantic New Jersey Chapter. Since 1976, the foundation has made dreams come true for more than 41,900 children throughout the United States.
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