Part Three (read part one and part two)

While our daytime journey was made special on the train, our evenings were spent in luxury at the Rocky Mountaineer partner hotels: the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver; Sandman Signature Kamloops Hotel; and Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.


In Kamloops we found gifts from Toys’R’Us in our rooms, and we were served a truly Canadian meal that included poutine (no, I didn’t have any). The highlight of the evening was the clown. He approached our table moments after Griffin stated he is afraid of clowns, and it took about 30 seconds for that fear to turn into belly laughs. His sense of humour, silliness and magic tricks had the whole room grinning from ear to ear. My generally reserved Kellen was smiling and laughing and taking part in the tricks. He’s a bit of a magician himself, and I know he loves to see other magicians in action. It was a fun way to wrap up that evening.


Lake Louise was our last stop on the trip. A special evening was planned and we all gathered for appetizers and drinks. Rocky Mountaineer President and CEO Randy Powell rode the train with us on our second day. He’s a family man who clearly loves his job too, and we really enjoyed getting to know him a bit. Randy addressed the group during the evening and made a very special announcement. He shared the secret that we had been carrying around all along, that four of the children in the room would receive a wish from Starlight, courtesy of Rocky Mountaineer.

He announced each of the children by name: Tristan, Isabelle, Lauryn and Kellen. The moment was emotional and overwhelming. I’m not sure the kids really grasped what he meant because they all looked a little confused. Starlight’s Debbie came to the rescue and asked the other children to share the wishes they had been granted in the past. There were trips to Disney World and Disneyland, a meeting with One Direction, a NYC trip to be on the sets of a television show and a visit to a gaming convention in Boston.

wish kids

Once they had all heard some new ideas, the four kids were invited to share their own wishes (with no obligation to stick with their first thoughts, of course). Lauryn wants to swim with the dolphins in Hawaii. Tristan would like to take a cruise to someplace warm. Isabelle thinks the Bahamas would be nice. Kellen would like to visit Pearl Harbour in Hawaii. They are all amazing wishes that the Rocky Mountaineer and Starlight Children’s Foundation are happy to grant.

We learned that Kellen would be assigned his own Wish Coordinator who will call us and help us through the process to make his wish come true. In the meantime, he can think about exactly what he is hoping to do and see. It is going to be a very exciting time!

Kellen has a strong interest in history and science, so the next surprise they had for us was almost as exciting as his wish. We were all invited to come together one last time on the following night to enjoy camp fires, s ’mores and star gazing with one of the members of the astronomical society. Kellen was very excited to see twin stars, the Milky Way and a nebula. It was a night made for him!

starlight campfire

Our time in Lake Louise was spent enjoying the incredible views and mountains in the area. We rode a gondola up a mountain and wandered around in search of bears. Unfortunately, or fortunately… depending on your perspective, we didn’t see any. We did take in some breathtaking views and enjoyed a delicious lunch with two other Starlight families.

Kellen is a very quiet and reserved young man who doesn’t show his emotions easily. He stayed quiet and kept to himself for a lot of the trip, but when we ask him about it on our own he smiles and talks about all of the things he enjoyed. He was excited to see a cruise ship up close in Vancouver. He really liked the pontoon planes that we saw there too. He loved the mountains. He enjoys photography and took several pictures with his camera and iPod. Kellen rarely gets excited about food, but he loved being served ginger ale and sprite at his seat on the train. That is his special treat and it was nice that he could enjoy an aspect of the food and dining service.

Thank you!

The entire trip was a dream and we are extremely grateful to the Starlight Children’s Foundation and the Rocky Mountaineer for making it possible.

15 Replies to “A wish granted by the Rocky Mountaineer and Starlight Children’s Foundation”

  1. What an amazing journey you shared with us all. Thank you. I can’t wait to read about Kellen’s special wish. After all he’s battled he truly deserves every moment. Love to all of you.

  2. Sending you all to Hawaii so he can see Pearl Harbor is just an amazing opportunity. I am so glad that this organization exists for your family.

  3. Wow, what an experience for your family and I am so happy that Kellen is going to get his wish granted – Amazing!

  4. What a beautiful story. I am so thankful for charities like Starlight that make wishes like this come true!!!
    It is my wish to one day take the Rocky Mountineer adventure with my husband! Thanks for sharing your warm hearted story with us!

  5. Wonderful, I’m glad you guys had a great time. I tip my hat to THE ROCKY MOUNTAINEER AND STARLIGHT CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION!

  6. What a wonderful story you shared with us. I am so truly happy that organizations like Starlight Children’s Foundation can make some dreams come true and for The Rocky Mountaineer and other companies that step up and get involved. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Thanks for sharing. I love that organizations like Starlight Children’s Foundation do wahatever they can to try and make kids’ wishes come true.

  8. I would love to do this trip with my mom and family, we would all love it so much! We have 3 boys that love trains and my mom can tell them about the trips she took us on when we were kids. 🙂

  9. The Rocky Mountaineer is so awesome! I’m glad you enjoyed Lake Louise. I’m from Banff so I know very well how beautiful it is. I hope Kellen enjoys Hawaii!

  10. It’s so heartwarming, truly, to read about the spectacular efforts of the Starlight Children’s Foundation. So precious that they make moments like these possible.

  11. Starlight Children’s Foundation is a wonderful organisation and does marvellous things granting dreams to children. The Rocky Mountaineer sounds wonderful and I’d love to do that trip myself one day. My brother and his wife did it a few years ago and were really impressed.

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