Follow-up about how Compassion Partners helps cancer patients visit Florida’s theme parks at no cost

Two weeks ago I wrote a three part travelogue about a trip Pattie and I took to Universal Resort in Orlando, Florida. 

Here is how I explained how we were able to spend two days enjoying Universal at no cost:

While researching my 4th book about how and where myeloma patients and caregivers can go to get help with co-pays and medical bills, one of my contacts recommended I get in touch with an organization called Compassion Partners.

Compassion Partners helps cancer patients and their families by providing them with free passes to a number of the large tourist attractions here in Florida.  I will share more about the organization–including contact information–later this week.

After providing Compassion Partners with a letter from one of my doctors confirming my condition, Pattie and I received a pair of free, two day passes to to both of Universal’s incredible parks.

And there’s more.  Along with free admission for both of us–both days–a VIP pass was included that allowed us to be escorted to the front of the line at busy rides and attractions.  How cool is that!

OK.  So it took me a bit longer than I originally planned to re-visit this.  Better late than never, right?

By the way, if you missed it and are interested in reading about our trip, here are the links to  A cautionary tale:  The good, the bad and the ugly from our trip to Orlando:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three.

The next week, I received the following email from a reader, asking for more information about the Compassion Partners–and if it were possible to sign-up on short notice. I forwarded her information.  A few days later she emailed me with good news:

Dear Pat,

I can’t thank you enough! The phone number that you gave me did the trick, and Jean answered on the first ring. My wonderful doctor sent the paperwork this afternoon, and Jean has already put in the request. My kids will be thrilled with Universal Studios, and thanks to your blog, I think I can tackle the Harry Potter ride (but will stay away from the Jurassic Park one!). I no longer have any pain from my 8 compression fractures, but I certainly don’t want to stir anything up. Blessings and peace, Dana

Emails like this are one of the things that keep me getting up in the morning and writing.  So glad I could help, Dana! I had a number of questions about the program myself, so I emailed my contact, Jean, at Compassion Partners:

Hello, Jean!

My wife Pattie and I would like to thank you for helping us see Universal Resort.  We spent all day two days.  It was a bit hard on me, but sometimes you need to “suck-it-up” to have some fun!

I would like to know more about your organization.  Do you have a website?  Would you like more publicity–or maybe not.  I am a freelance medical writer and would be glad to do a story about your group.  I don’t even know if it is national, or just here in Florida?  I could post a mention on my blog, or write something more substantial.  I did write a three part travelogue about my experience on MultipleMyelomaBlog.com.  I do mention your group briefly in the first installment, but I would be glad to do more…

I should also mention that her family purchased four two day passes.  So everyone wins!  Thanks again- Pat

Jean wasn’t interested in doing an interview.  But she did send me this very low key explanation about how and why Compassion Partners exists:

Hi Pat,

The Compassion Program is not advertised and does not have a web site.  Compassion is an administrative support office to assist the Partnering Theme Parks in the Central Florida area.  If the Park supports Compassion – then  a reference to the Compassion Program will be listed on that Park’s website.  Disney World is a partner – but for children (3-18) only – Universal/Seaworld/BuschGardens support both children and adult patients who have a life-threatening illness/condition.  Disney does work to assist adult patients too, but by working with Adult Wish Granting Organizations – much like Make A Wish works with children.  I also assist some of those Adult Wish Granting Organizations as well.I’m so happy to learn that you had a good time – and very impressed to hear of the fine work you are doing.  I will definitely try to read some of your work soon!

Have a happy weekend and warmest wishes,

Jean Lowe – Compassion Partners

If you would like to contact Jean, or another member of their friendly, helpful staff, you can call (407) 396-5320.   Up to six family members are eligible for passes. 

So there you have it.   Sounds like a good excuse to travel to Florida for some affordable fun in the sun!

Another way to feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

 

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