Man fulfills wife's dying wish by taking their son to Disney World

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A New Jersey dad has fulfilled his wife’s dying wish by taking their son to Walt Disney World— an effort made possible after a viral GoFundMe campaign he started Sept. 22 met its $10,000 goal within one hour of being launched.

Billy Webb, 33, said his wife of nine years, Kellie, 34, passed away Saturday after battling colon cancer for nearly four years. The Webbs, who met in April 2006 while stationed in the U.S. Army at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, share one son, Will, 7.

Earlier this summer, when Kellie’s cancer became terminal and doctors gave her upwards of one month to live, Billy’s father, Bill, asked her what she wanted to do before her health declined any further. The couple had always wanted to take Will to see Mickey Mouse in Orlando, so that made answering simple.

“We always wanted to take him down there,” Billy told by phone while in his hotel room at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. “It was something that we always thought we had plenty of time to do.”

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Kellie served as a combat medic in the Army beginning in July 2004 and completed a 16-month tour in Iraq in 2007. Around the time Will turned 1, she departed for service in Haiti. In October 2014, she medically retired when her cancer became unmanageable. She was first diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2012.

Although Billy and Will had hoped she would be able to join them on the Disney trip, Kellie went into hospice on Thursday. Days before, doctors drained 610 milliliters of fluid from her chest, an episode that followed a severe reaction to the last of several rounds of chemotherapy that aimed to save her life.

Billy, who works in communications for the Army and is stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey, said about 200 people turned out for her funeral earlier this week in Toms River, New Jersey.

He said it “means the world” to be able to take Will to Disney. They plan to go to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, and that Will, whom he described as a mama’s boy who only ever knew his mother as sick, “wants to do it all.”

“[Will] said something in the car to the effect of, ‘I wish mommy was here, but I know she’ll be watching us,’” Billy said. “We all have that same mentality: that we know she may not physically be here, but we know she’s watching us, so we’re doing it in her honor, and that’s the most important thing. Will was her world.”

As of Friday afternoon, “Kellie’s Final Wish” GoFundMe campaign had raised nearly $35,000.