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October 10, 2012

Make-A-Wish surprises girl with Disney vacation

(Continued)

Bailey found out about the trip at a surprise party Tuesday night at Panni Pizzeria in Unadilla.

Kelly O’Brien Shumway of Make-A-Wish was on hand as the tiny girl with light brown hair, big brown eyes and a shy smile walked through the door to a chorus of “Surprise!” from family members.

“I can’t imagine anything worse than having a sick child,” Shumway said.

The Make-A-Wish volunteer said she has attended about five such events during her time with the organization.

“It can get emotional,” she said.

The Tomas family will also get a three-day pass to Disney attractions, including Walt Disney World, plus a two-day pass to Universal Studios Orlando and a one-day pass to Sea World Orlando.

The week-long stay later this month will give the family a chance to relax and forget its tribulations for a while, Bambi Tomas said.

The drumbeat of bad news might tear apart some families, but Bambi Tomas, says her family – she’s one of 12 children – has rallied around her.

“We grew up poor, but proud,” she said. “We took are of what we had.”

“It’s the kind of values my husband and I want to instill in our children: It’s not what’s under the tree on Christmas, it’s who’s around it,” she said. “If make a wish has come today and brought Bailey a stuffed animal, she would have been thrilled.”

Bambi Tomas said she was recently laid off from Amphenol Aerospace Operations in Sidney, and even though her daughter is covered by the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, a federal initiative, she’s not sure whether a transplant will be covered.

Her husband, Antonio J. Tomas, works construction, and it was her income and health insurance that had helped the family keep going.

Nevertheless, she remains optimistic.

“I come from a big family,” she said. “I’m one of 12, so we will do it.”

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