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Wish granted, 3-year-old Meridian boy headed for Disney World

By Staff
TAKING A TRIP n Make a wish volunteers present itinerary and airline tickets to Johnathan Mars and his family. From left to right, Rhonda Walters, Make A Wish Volunteer, Vicki Tucker, Make A Wish Volunteer, Robyn Mars, Josh Mars, Andy Mars, Johnathan Mars and Kay Sullins, Make A Wish Volunteer. Photo by Kelly Quackenbush/The Meridian Star.
By Kelly Quackenbush/The Meridian Star
Jan. 24, 2001
His days are usually spent with a doctor, but next week 3-year-old Johnathan Mars of Meridian will have a new character to see: Mickey Mouse.
Johnathan, who suffers from neuroblastoma, a malignant tumor that originates in the adrenal glands, is going to Disney World  and taking some family with him  thanks to the Make A Wish Foundation.
The youngster's wish was granted Wednesday as friends and family gathered for a "send off party" at the Pizza Hut on North Hills Street. Make A Wish Volunteers of Mississippi representatives Rhonda Walters, Vicki Tucker and Kay Sullins presented Johnathan and his family with airline tickets and an itinerary for a trip to Disney World.
Accompanying Johnathan to the popular theme park near Orlando will be his mother and father, Robyn and Andy Mars; his big brother, Joshua; and his grandmother, Lena Bitzear.
They will be spending six days and five nights at the Give Kids the World Resort, associated with Make A Wish Foundation and other wish organizations.
Johnathan decided on his wish by simply looking at his wall, where a Disney World poster hangs. Besides Mickey, he can't wait to see Scooby Doo and Goofy.
The Make A Wish Foundation of Mississippi, based in Ridgeland, is a nonprofit organization that grants the wishes of Mississippi children who suffer from terminal or life-threatening illnesses. They raise funds for wishes through annual fund raisers and every day donations.
Last year, Make A Wish made wishes come true for 71 children across the state. Make A Wish Foundation of Mississippi is a part of the Make a Wish Foundation America, the country's largest wish granting charity.
Kelly Quackenbush is a staff writer for The Meridian Star.