ST. LOUIS — A heartwarming surprise awaited a 10-year-old from St. Louis during his visit to Disney World, all thanks to his aunt and the magic of social media.
In September 2019, Drew Patchin awoke with severe headaches and nausea. As the days passed, his headaches intensified, prompting a medical examination that revealed a brain tumor.
Despite enduring multiple surgeries within a week at just 6½ years old, Drew showed incredible resilience throughout his battle with a brain tumor. He even underwent radiation treatment while awake, setting a record as one of the youngest patients to do so at the hospital.
Routine scans over the next two years uncovered another tumor, which was successfully removed during a lengthy surgery. A recurrence occurred in February and was initially considered inoperable by several medical centers.
“It has been hard on our whole family. We all have a lot of anxiety,” his mother, Jennifer Patchin, told FOX2. “But I can fight through it. Drew is a true warrior. He is amazing and just stays positive.”
Faced with a prognosis of only nine months, 10-year-old Drew expressed a desire to experience fame, having previously appeared on FOX2.
In July, he underwent partial tumor removal and began a six-week chemotherapy trial, but a September MRI showed the tumor had regrettably grown.
With a November scan scheduled, the family seized the opportunity to attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Disney World, where Drew hoped to meet his favorite character, Dopey.
Drew’s aunt reached out to the public online, initially seeking a small group of attendees willing to pretend they knew Drew. However, with the help of a TikTok creator named Kristen So, the request garnered widespread attention.
On September 29, during the event, Drew received overwhelming support from fellow visitors and Disney staff. They eagerly recognized him, requested autographs, and took photographs with him.
Patchin shares in a Facebook post, “One of the things I think is coolest about all of this is that there was almost zero total cost for all this magic. We were there for about seven hours and almost everything done for us was people going out of their way to just use their words to make the boys feel famous/special.”