It started off as just another day of school for Federal Furnace Elementary School fourth grader Teaghan Bowden. But Wednesday, Jan. 31, turned out to be something extraordinary for the 10-year-old.  

School principal Stacey Perry, with a supporting cast of Teaghan’s classmates, announced his dream of going to Disney World in Orlando, FL, would become reality this spring. The trip is being made possible by Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island, which grants such wishes for children with critical illnesses.

Teaghan has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare form of the muscle-wasting disease that mostly affects young boys. Researchers are only now starting to figure out how to treat the deadly condition.

On that January morning, the fourth-grade class had gathered in the school cafeteria for an assembly. Teaghan spotted his parents, siblings, and extended family, so he knew something was up. Also on hand were members of the Plymouth police and fire departments – not the typical guests at a fourth-grade assembly.

Soon Teaghan was called to the front of the room, where Perry and four students helped him open a collection of gifts and clues – sunscreen, a toy airplane, and a Disney autograph book, hat, and backpack.

Then came the big reveal. (You can see a short video of the event here.) There were plenty of smiles, and some tears.

Teaghan’s father, Eugene Bowden, and his stepmother, Shelby Maclary, said they watched Disney World videos on YouTube with their son later that evening to rev up the anticipation even more.

“Every new character he saw, he kept cheering that he was going to get to meet them, too,” Eugene said.

To learn more about Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island, visit its website.

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