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Local preschool helps fulfill 2 year old’s wish of going to Disney

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The Gardner School of Franklin helped grant a wish and hosted special party for Axl Heady, 2, through Make-A-Wish on Friday. 

Make-A-Wish is a nonprofit organization that grants a wish, on average, every 38 minutes to a child with a life-threatening medical condition. 

Gardner School students and staff planned a “Toy Story” themed party for Axl and his family, complete with some of his favorite characters, such as Woody and Buzz Lightyear. 

The family also received a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, which they plan to take in October. 

Throughout 2019 alone, The Gardner School has donated $24,000 to Make-A-Wish chapters across the country, supporting chapters in each of the markets in which they have school locations. 

“Seeing dreams come to life for children and their families is something we strive to do each day at The Gardner School,” The Gardner School Chief Operating Officer Tammy Robinson said. “That’s among the many reasons we partner with Make-A-Wish.”

Axl’s mother, Alexis Heady, spends many days at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt with her son, who is battling Pilomyxoid Astrocytoma, a type of brain cancer.

“Families with sick children get torn apart every day,” she said. “They have to fight for the simple things and have to fight for every breath. It’s a fight every day, and they have to fight for just some sort of life for these babies. It is absolutely so important that these brave and strong babies and children get celebrated. Wishes do come true in the midst of darkness, heartache and sickness.”

The family currently lives in Lebanon to be closer to medical treatment. Alexis Heady is currently a stay-at-home mom and nurse to Axl. Friday’s celebration, however, provided the family an escape from the hospital and diagnoses. 

“It was such a blessing that The Gardner School helped in celebrating Axl’s wish and journey,” Alexis Heady said. “It was so nice to sit back and watch Axl have that time to just be normal.”

A Gofundme has been set up to help with Axl’s medical expenses. Go to https://www.gofundme.com/axl-headys-storyfor more information. 

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