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Terminally ill man gets first chance to visit Disneyland

MESA, Ariz. — A Mesa man who is battling cancer is about to have the dream of his life fulfilled.

Robert Gordon, 58, was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Doctors have given him 12 months or less to live.

Dream Foundation, a nationwide wish-granting organization, heard about his plight and that his dream of visiting Disneyland has never been fulfilled, due to financial constraints.

The foundation has changed that.

It has arranged a trip that starts Monday and will not only include Disneyland and California Adventure but also Knott’s Berry Farm and Universal Studios Hollywood. The trip includes a hotel stay and $700 in spending money. A friend of the family will drive Robert and his wife, Patricia, to California.

A Disneyland trip has always been Gordon’s dream.

“I’ve heard about it from other people,” said Gordon. “They come back and they say, ‘I had a great time,’ but I’ve never had a chance to go.”

He’s grateful for the surprise and said “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “It’s a Small World” are the top attractions on his list. He doesn’t like roller coasters, so he’ll probably skip “Big Thunder Mountain Railroad” and “California Screamin.'”

Gordon’s doctors at the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center have put him in touch with several California doctors who could be contacted, should he need to go to the hospital while there.

Patricia Gordon said she is “overwhelmed” by all the outpouring of love and support. She called the team at Banner “wonderful” and has also seen the love from their neighbors and members of their church.

“Anything we want, they do,” she said. “When I was in the hospital in May for 10 days, they came and brought food to him everyday. They checked on him and made sure he was ok. You just can’t ask for a better neighborhood and better friends than our (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) ward family.”

The Dream Foundation makes dreams come true for adults who are facing life-threatening illnesses. For more information go to