Woman gets wish to attend son's wedding

September 11, 2008 7:56:53 PM PDT
A Concord woman Thursday boarded a plane to Minneapolis to attend her son's wedding. The journey sounds simple enough, but not for Katherine Sandoval. Sandoval has been disabled half her life and it is thanks to the help of those devoted to making seniors' wishes come true that she is able to make the journey.

Like any mother, Sandoval always planned to be there for her three children. She would have never dreamed of missing school plays, graduations or weddings, until her health got in the way.

Now 60-years-old, Sandoval has been disabled for 30 years, half her life. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis as a young mother, married to a young man who also happened to be disabled.

"We went to a nursing home together," Sandoval said. "The children went to Alaska to live with my brother, so you see, I've missed most of the milestones in my children's lives."

She did manage to keep in touch with her kids, even attending a few special occasions, but in recent years, as the disease has progressed, Sandoval's body has become more fragile.

So when her middle child, Matt, announced he was getting married in Minneapolis getting there seemed nearly impossible.

Thatis, until the activity director at Concord's Windsor Manor contacted Antioch's An Elderly Wish Foundation, which fulfills wishes for seniors with life-threatening or terminal illnesses.

"It could be something as simple as (my favorite), a gentleman just wanted to go fishing one more time out in the Delta, so we arranged a trip for him," Elderly Wish Foundation spokesperson Mary Chapman said.

Elderly Wish is paying for Sandoval's plane ticket and a specially-equipped hotel room.

Windsor Manor is sending along a nurse and a therapist to assist Sandoval and the staff raised $2,000 to help with her expenses in Minneapolis, where the local MS Society will help out with a special lift and other necessities.

"Right now, I'm ecstatic," Sandoval said.

"It's such a morale booster to do something like this for Katherine, who's one of the most popular residents here," Windsor Manor spokesperson Ken Cess said.

Before this upcoming trip to Minneapolis, the last time Sandoval traveled any distance from Windsor Manor was three years ago, when she made the trip to Los Angeles, for her daughter's wedding. But now, thanks to the generous help of others, Sandoval will proudly attend her son's wedding.


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