A young boy from Brooklyn, Connecticut will be going on an all expenses paid trip to several theme parks in Florida, thanks to national nonprofit Baking Memories 4 Kids.
"It is going to be just a breath of fresh air for our family," said Allison Silver, whose son won the trip.
"Every day is a fight for him and he faces it with courage, strength, positivity and joy," said Allison Silver.
"If there is a challenge, there is a way to surmount that challenge. That is what he does. He finds his own way to get to where he wants," added Jeff Silver, Sam's father.
Baking Memories 4 Kids is a national nonprofit based in New York. Frank Squeo founded the nonprofit in 2012 after a near-deadly battle with cancer.
“I almost died of cancer back in 2007. I was so sick that the cancer was throughout my entire body," said Squeo. "And I knew there had to be a bigger purpose for me to have survived it.”
For six weeks of the year, the nonprofit sells containers of freshly baked cookies. The proceeds from the cookies fund trips to the theme parks in Orlando, Florida for children living with life-altering and life-threatening illnesses. Since 2012, the nonprofit has surprised more than 200 families with the free trip.
“We give memories to families that are so deserving of a break," said Squeo.
Sam's grandmother learned about Baking Memories 4 Kids and nominated him for the trip. Squeo said picking Sam as one of the winners for the trip was one of the easiest decisions he has ever made.
“He is the most adorable young man you will ever want to meet. Smiling all the time when he is in pain," said Squeo.
This week, with the help of the East Brooklyn Volunteer Fire Department, Squeo showed up at Sam's front porch with the surprise. As soon as it is safe to do so, Sam will travel to all of the theme parks in Orlando with his mom, dad, sister and both sets of grandparents.
“It is so hard to put into words what it means because it is everything. It is everything he deserves. Everything a little boy, anyone, dreams of," said Sam's mom. "It really is a dream come true for him, for our family to have this trip and to know that we will have this week of untouched time, of not having to worry about doctors and appointments, and to just see Sam be a kid."
“I think he is going to have memories for a lifetime," said Sam's dad.
Baking Memories 4 Kids usually sells upwards of 10,000 containers of cookies every year. This year, due to the pandemic, cookie orders are down about 50%.