Peyton Madden likes pirates.
The 6-year-old El Dorado boy says he would love to take a ride on a real pirate ship someday.
Since The Dream Factory didn’t have that as an option, Peyton chose the next best thing: a ride on a Disney cruise ship.
Also sailing on this ship will be a famous pirate Peyton is looking forward to seeing.
“I want to meet Captain Hook,” he said.
Peyton, who was diagnosed with Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP) when he was 3, received tickets for himself and his family from Director of Dreams Jean Sherraden on Sunday afternoon.
“This is the fun part of my job,” said Sherraden. “You get to put a smile on a child’s face.”
The Dream Factory is a non-profit organization that grants dreams to chronically ill and seriously ill children between the ages of 3 and 18.
The organization is 100 percent volunteer based, and grants around 70 dreams in Kansas each year.
In April, Peyton’s father Kyle played in a golf tournament with Sherraden’s husband Sean. Kyle told Sean about Peyton, and Sean told Kyle about Jean’s involvement with The Dream Factory.
After checking out the organization’s Web site, Peyton chose to apply for the Disney cruise.
“He decided he wanted to be on a pirate ship,” said Kyle. “This was about as close as he could get.”
Peyton will be accompanied on the four-day cruise by his dad, mom Sarah and sister Rylee.
Due to his condition, Peyton cannot be exposed to ultraviolet light.
His parents put sunscreen on him every two hours. When Peyton ventures outside, he must wear jeans and long sleeves. He also has a special hat with an ultraviolet light-resistant plastic shield.
“He has to do without a lot of things,” said Sarah, who is happy her son will be able to experience the cruise.
In addition to his parents and sister, Peyton’s grandparents, Cleo and Velma Larimer and Rob and Melanie Madden, were there to watch Peyton receive his cruise tickets.
He is the only child in Kansas with the disease. According to the National Institutes of Health, XP is estimated to affect about 1 in 1 million people in the United States and Europe.