Santa, local community show support for siblings headed to Disney through Make-A-Wish

LEEDS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A wish come true was made even sweeter for a brother and sister in Greene County on Monday.

Callen Farrell and his sister Charlotte battle Children’s Interstitial Lung Disease (chILD). They are on oxygen tanks 24/7 and sometimes need to use feeding tubes.

It’s a lifestyle many children would not be happy with, but for Callen and Charlotte, they’ve been through it all.

“Lots of doctor appointments; it’s a very, very rare disease,” their aunt Shelley Yager said.

ChILD also makes them very susceptible to illness. The common cold could be deadly.


“The kids, you know, have to be very, very careful,” Yager explained. “They’re very susceptible to getting sick, so any little thing can put these poor kids right into the hospital.”

Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Farrell family headed off to Disney World in Orlando, Fla. on Monday morning. But rather than riding in their own car to the airport, they got a lot more than expected.

“We thought it was going to be a little ordeal,” Yager said. “We figured maybe a couple of fire trucks. A few people.”

Santa Claus was standing outside their door with a limousine ready to take them to the airport. Along the way, their community had a surprise. Fire trucks and police vehicles lined their route with lights flashing and people waving.

“Oh, so excited,” Yager said. “They couldn’t believe the outpour from everybody.”

Hundreds turned out to make Callen and Charlotte feel loved.

“Finally glad, you know, they get to have a real vacation and spend time together as a family and relax a little bit and enjoy each other, which is big for them,” Yager said.

There is currently no cure for chILD. Callen’s and Charlotte’s family has been working for years to raise awareness and money for research.

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