Wyrick, family return from trip to Disney World
SALISBURY — For a bundled up Cheryl Wyrick, the muggy, upper 80-degree temperatures of Disney World must have been draining.
But she didn’t let it get her down, friends said. In fact, the 28-year-old cancer-stricken mom refused to not have the time of her life.
At one point, neighbor and sister-in-law Crystal Casper recalled, Wyrick put her head on the column of her motorized cart between the rows of humming tourists and slept for an hour.
She wouldn’t go back to the room.
“She tried to stick it out and push as hard as she could because it was something that she really, really wanted to do and to make sure she had that time with the kids and could do it all with them,” Casper said.
The Wyricks returned to Rowan County Feb. 28 after spending five days at the Magic Kingdom.
The start of Cheryl’s first family vacation began with her first plane ride. The trip was funded more by than $20,000 donated to send her, her two kids and husband Daniel to Orlando.
Cheryl asked for the trip last fall when she was re-diagnosed with an aggressive stomach cancer that she thought she had beaten the year before.
Relatives scrambled to come up with the money before settling on a charity yard sale last month.
Just before the trip doctors told Cheryl her liver was failing quickly and she was given just weeks to live.
Upon returning last week, nurses said she had only days.
By Friday, according to Cheryl’s wishes, hospice officials moved her to a bed at her mother’s Rockwell home.
The Wyricks stayed at the Disney All Star Movie Resort, which was set up by friends and travel organizers.
Cheryl’s boys, Damon and Adian — who are avid Buzz and Woody fans — particularly liked their assigned room in the Toy Story section.
Crystal said the family spent most of each day at the parks, enjoying rides and taking photos.
“Everybody was just so great down there,” she said. “It really is a magical place.”
The day before their departure the group anchored a spot on Main Street for the A Dream Come True parade.
Some of the famous costumed Disney characters stopped to see her. A few kissed her on the hands “like a princess,” Crystal said.
“I wish that (the Rowan County community) could have all seen what I saw,” Casper said. “That Cheryl. She was just, it was just great. It’s wonderful to see that joy.”
Hilda Goodman, a friend of the Wyricks who helped organize the yard sale, said after funeral expenses about $15,000 is left for a trust fund for 2-year-old Damon and 6-year-old Adian.
The last few days haven’t been filled with the typical post-vacation reminiscing and scrap booking.
Doctors warned friends and relatives before the vacation that the hustle and bustle of the trip could accelerate her decline.
But Cheryl wanted the trip, like she wanted to stay in that fantasy park.
“She just kept trying to go,” Goodman said. “I guess she wanted to live every moment she could.”