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Santa Claus Answers Leukemia Patient's Wish To Meet Mickey Mouse

Santa Claus with 3-year-old RIley and his mothers, Amy Manning Burns, left, and Tara Burns of Yorktown. Santa delivered the news that Riley, who is battling Leukemia, was granted his wish to visit Disney World and meet Mickey Mouse.
Santa Claus with 3-year-old RIley and his mothers, Amy Manning Burns, left, and Tara Burns of Yorktown. Santa delivered the news that Riley, who is battling Leukemia, was granted his wish to visit Disney World and meet Mickey Mouse. Photo Credit: Contributed

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- A 3-year-old boy from Yorktown who is battling leukemia will receive his Christmas wish and visit Disney World, courtesy of Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley.

Riley Manning was diagnosed ith AML, an aggressive form of leukemia when he was just 17 months old. "My world broke,'' said his mother, Amy. "As a parent, you want to protect your child and hearing those words that your baby has cancer, I don’t think there is anything worse out there."

Riley spent six months undergoing chemotherapy treatments at the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital in Valhalla. But just over a year ago, Riley's mothers found out that his cancer was in remission.

Since receiving its charter in 1986, Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley has granted the wishes of more than 2,300 children in the Hudson Valley region with life-threatening medical conditions.

This past June, after Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley met with Riley and his family, it was decided that Disney World would be the perfect Wish destination. He received his trip as a gift from Santa Claus. After hearing about his surprise trip, Riley placed an ornament, bearing his name, on the Christmas tree at the Wish House in Tarrytown. And now they get to share Riley's joy for Mickey Mouse by flying to Disney World.

Riley's mother says families dealing with childhood cancer should never give up. "Just do what you need to do for your little ones. They're fighters," Amy said.

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