The Dzwilewski family always vacationed at Disney. When Marion Dzwilewski, the family matriarch, was diagnosed with ALS in 2018, the family continued the trips.
Although difficult, the family took her to Disneyland Paris, her first overseas trip. The next year, her daughter got married at the Disney World’s Wedding Pavilion. Once able to travel to all 4 parks in one day, in 2019, Marion’s trip was much more difficult. She needed a feeding tube and used a ventilator. Although she had trouble walking, she still got to rider her favorite ride, It’s a Small World. “She couldn’t tell you but you just knew she was really happy,” said her niece, Chrissy Caporale, of the trip. Marion asked the family to hold her up for photos, keeping her wheelchair out of the photos.
When Marion passed away in January, her daughter decided that Disney World was the best place to honor her. Janelle collected 75 Disney pins and 400 Disney decals. She attached messages with her mother’s nickname, Dee, and about ALS awareness so people could learn more about the disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, that about 5,000 people are diagnosed with every year. Then, on the trip, the family passed them out. “There’s no other way I could share of paying respect to my mom. This is the only thing I could really think of,” Janelle said. “It just seems like the right thing to do to spread awareness in her favorite place.”