Boy's dying wish sparks outpouring of generosity and some questions
The father of a 7-year-old boy is collecting money online to help make his son's wish to return to Disney World come true.
He wants to make clear his fundraising intentions after a donor raised questions when others felt it seemed suspicious.
Sammy is just like many 7-year-olds. Eyes glued to a tablet.
"Sam's health has been an open book on social media for 5 years," said Sammy's father, Danny Johnson.
Sammy has been to Walt Disney World before.
The trip was in July 2014 through Make-A-Wish.
Sammy has neuroblastoma.
"It's stage 4 high risk unfavorable histology it was the worst possible case scenario for what he had," said Johnson.
Sammy is on palliative care, a way to manage his pain now after fighting cancer since he could walk.
"All he went through that last round that it almost killed him and it did nothing," said Johnson.
He set the original goal at $4,000 for a vacation with his wife, Sammy's 5 siblings and special friend.
"There's tickets the rental vehicle which I had severally underestimated the cost for," said Johnson.
Johnson says he also didn't take into account Go-Fund-Me fees.
Donations poured in. The fundraiser stands at just over $5500.
Even a Delaware City council member pitched in a $100 before asking others to donate. The goal increased just before it was met.
"I received a message asking why we increased the goal," said Johnson.
Johnson says he raised the goal to $5,000 to cover fees, then bumped it to $8,000 thinking he could instead buy a used 15-passenger van.
The council member says they never thought anything fraudulent was going on but suggested he let people know about the van.
"I don't feel I was dishonest maybe it could have helped if I put that in there why I increased it," said Johnson.
Johnson says he saw the van as an opportunity for other adventures while his son is physically able.
"I sent them a message kind of explaining the realities of pediatric cancer and how the whole family goes through it and the whole family needs this trip," said Johnson.
This father's wish is far greater than any trip.
"In a heartbeat I'd give back every dollar that's been donated every gift card the trip to Disney World anything if he could just grow up but that's not our reality," said Johnson.
Johnson says he had to move up the trip from July to April now that his son needs platelet transfusions every week.