Alabama teacher surprised with Disney trip for a promise kept

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FOLEY, Ala (WKRG) — A story born out of tragedy and with a surprise ending. Thanks to the faculty and staff at Foley Elementary School, a magic moment for one of their own.

Growing up, Jessica Beason made her sister a promise, you know one of those that you say but hope you never have to keep, if something ever happens to you, I will raise your child as one of my own.

That something happened last September when Jennifer Younce was killed in a horrific crash in Foley on County Road 65. Her 5-year-old son critically injured.  Jessica made good on that promise and on Wednesday she and her family got a magical surprise. 

A school assembly at Foley Elementary set the stage for a surprise worthy of the Magic Kingdom.

“You’re going to Disney World!”

All for 3rd-grade teacher Jessica Beason and her entire family.  “This is more surprised than I’ve been in my whole life,” she said.  “Even more than when I got engaged.”

It seems the whole school conspired to pull one over on the family, even dad Jonathan joined the surprise via Facetime.  “It’ll be the first normal thing we’ve done since September.”  That’s when a car crash took the life of her sister and left 5-year-old Jax fighting for his life.  “It was a roller coaster every day not knowing if he would ever walk again if he would talk again.”

More than a dozen surgeries later Jax continues to improve although he’s not quite sure about Disney World.  “Any fun stuff there? What kind of stuff?”

The trip is made possible through the Magic Moments organization that grants wishes to families with children battling chronic or life-threatening illnesses.  “His story is incredible and what she is doing with him and the rest of the children is just incredible,” said Kimberly Etherton there for the surprise from Magic Moments.

“I always promised my sister, if anything ever happened to her I would make sure he was okay. I would take care of him and I’m not just fulfilling a promise to her but he is part of our family,” Jessica said.  “We love him more than anything.”

A promise kept, a dream come true. If that’s not a Disney moment we don’t know what is.

If you know of a family that deserves a Magic Moment go to to start the process.


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Aaron Nolan is a morning show co-host in Little Rock, Arkansas with Nexstar Media Group's KARK-TV. He has a passion for social media and makes it an important part of his daily routine. Click here to read Aaron's full bio.