“It’s something he’s always dreamed of doing. He always pays special attention to who is voicing a character in a cartoon and tries to figure it out.”
Right from birth, DJ had many struggles to overcome. He had a bluish tint and his heart was flipped in the wrong direction. He was resuscitated, and underwent emergency surgery. It was a very stressful time – during the surgery, DJ suffered a stroke. Days later he returned to the hospital for another surgery to reposition his heart. The surgery was a success, however DJ was still having an average of 100 seizures a day. He was diagnosed with epilepsy, a central nervous system disorder in which nerve cell activity in the brain becomes disrupted, causing recurring seizures. DJ had surgery to remove a portion of his brain, and it has drastically helped to eliminate his daily seizures. He also has cerebral palsy, a congenital disorder of movement, muscle tone, or posture. He wears a brace on his left hand and braces on both legs to help him walk.
DJ aspired to be a voice talent in a cartoon, so Kids Wish Network reached out to Disney Television Animation, who designed a brilliantly colorful wish. DJ was hired as a cast member for Disney’s animated adventure series Milo Murphy’s Law, to appear on the show’s episode “A Clockwork Origin.” Disney animators would be sketching DJ into a cartoon character, and he would also be visiting Walt Disney Animation Studios to record the voicing for his character.
“It’s something he’s always dreamed of doing,” said DJ’s dad Dennis. “He always pays special attention to who is voicing a character in a cartoon and tries to figure it out.”
The day of DJ’s dream coming true, a luxurious limousine courtesy of Exclusive Sedan Service, arrived at their home to chauffeur them throughout the wish. They first enjoyed a memorable lunch at The Palm Downtown LA. Then it was time to let the studio magic begin at Walt Disney Animation Studios.
DJ was excited to meet Milo Murphy’s Law cast members, including the iconic “Weird Al” Yankovic and movie star Chrissie Fit, best known for her roles in Pitch Perfect 2 and Teen Beach Movie. He also took great interest in watching actors from other projects recording their scenes.
And then it was DJ’s turn… he approached the microphone, put on headphones and voiced his line. DJ stayed in perfect character – playing himself in his acting debut.
DJ also felt special spending time with Milo Murphy’s Law show co-creator, Dan Povenmire, who surprised DJ with treasured mementos of his studio experience. He kindly gifted DJ with an autographed poster of Milo Murphy’s Law, and an autographed figurine and poster from his other animated hit series Phineas and Ferb.
“The wish gives him something to talk about with others and makes him feel good,” said DJ’s mom Lisa. “My favorite memory was when DJ had his headphones on and turned around looking at me with the biggest grin. He was so happy that his dream was finally coming true.”
DJ’s appearance on Milo Murphy’s Law episode “A Clockwork Origin” has aired, and can be seen on Disney’s XD app.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following sponsors for making DJ’s dreams become a reality:
- Disney Television Animation
- Walt Disney Animation Studios
- Milo Murphy’s Law
- The Palm Downtown LA
- Exclusive Sedan Service