Spending dawn to midnight with a total stranger isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. But for UBC’s Sheila Epp, the opportunity to escort a child on a day-long trip to Disneyland far outweighs the personal exhaustion that comes with this duty.
Every second year Wendy’s Operation Dreamlift sends a plane load of children from BC’s central interior to Disneyland for the day. Epp, associate director of the School of Nursing, volunteered as a pediatric nurse to spend the entire day with children chosen by the dreamlift program as they fly to and from California to explore Disneyland. The most recently trip — the 56th out of Kelowna — took place just before Christmas.
The children in the program are suffering from life-limiting illnesses and without the community and medical support that it provides, these children might never experience the thrill of Disneyland, she says.
“Spending the day with these kids was truly a privilege and I felt honoured to be a part of this a very special day for them,” says Epp. “One of the children referred to me as her fairy godmother and said it was the best day of her life.”