Dying Yugoslav Boy Meets Mickey Mouse in Dream Trip
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) _ Egor Sastarko met Mickey Mouse in the highlight of a dream trip that brought the 9-year-old cancer victim from Eastern Europe to the Magic Kingdom.
Egor, who is from a small village outside Zagreb, Yugoslavia, spent Sunday at Disneyland courtesy of an American group that makes wishes come true for dying children.
Mickey Mouse, the boy’s favorite Disney character, met Egor and two relatives in front of the amusement park’s City Hall, said Disney publicist Joe Aguirre.
Egor ″hugged a little bit and just enjoyed standing there looking at him,″ Aguirre said. ″He didn’t let go of his hand the whole time he was standing there.″
The trip was arranged by the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, and was the first for an Eastern bloc child. The group found out about Egor, who suffers from a fatal bone cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma, from a Wisconsin man who knows the boy’s aunt and physician, Maria Sastarko.
After meeting Mickey Mouse, Egor headed for the ″It’s a Small World″ attraction, where he recognized many other familiar characters. He sampled the park’s other rides, but Mickey Mouse appeared to be the main attraction.
Egor, who lost his hair to chemotherapy treatments, came to the park in a baseball cap and topped that with a pair of mouse ears presented by Mickey.
Later, ″he jumped up and said, ’Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse,‴ when the costumed character came into view during a ride on the park’s steam train, Aguirre said. ″He was a little bit shy, but he seemed to be having fun,″ he said.
Today’s plans called for Egor to return to Disneyland and then visit nearby Knott’s Berry Farm.
He will be made an honorary Los Angeles County sheriff, take a helicopter ride with the special weapons and tactics team and meet actor David Hasselhoff on the set of NBC-TV’s ″Knight Rider″ before he heads for home next Sunday.
The trio arrived Friday in New York and are to fly back to New York Saturday for the trip home.
The cost of the wish, which is sponsored by the Borel Corp. of San Mateo, was not disclosed. The hotel stay and air fair were donated.