Harrison County

Coast kindergartner battling muscular dystrophy is getting his Disney dream come true

Jaxson Shults is going to Disney World and he didn’t have to win the Super Bowl to get there.

But the 5-year-old did win the trip to meet Mickey Mouse and other characters through a program started by the late radio show host Kidd Kraddick.

Jaxon, who was recently diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, and his family will be heading to Orlando on Nov. 16 to the fabled “House of Mouse” thanks to Kidd’s Kids Trips. The family will touch down in Disney World on the same day Jaxson turns six.

Jaxson’s mom, Heather Shults, said her son had been plagued with health issues since an early age.

“He had two surgeries within the first six months that he was born,” Schults said. “He was born with muscular dystrophy, but it went undiagnosed until February when he had his hip replacement surgery.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, muscular dystrophy is a “group of diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass.” It is caused when abnormal genes (mutations) interfere with the production of proteins needed to form healthy muscle tissue.

Shults said they still haven’t determined what type of muscular dystrophy her son has.

“To know what we are dealing with is such as relief,” she said. “He’s in a wheelchair, but he’s a very very independent child.”

Jaxson is a lifelong fan of Walt Disney’s signature character.

“He loves Mickey Mouse,” Shults said. “He has several stuffed Mickeys and he could wear a different Mickey shirt every day for a long time — he’s wanted to go to Disney World for so long and I can’t believe we are actually getting to go.”

And what’s the first thing Jaxson plans to do when he sees Mickey Mouse, whom he calls his “best friend?”

“I’m going to give him a hug and tell him I love him,” Jaxson, who is in kindergarten at Lyman Elementary School, said.

He said he’s also looking forward to riding some of the many rides at Disney World.

“I can ride the little rides by myself, but on the big rides I can’t,” Jaxson said.