Soldier's Family Gets Trip To Disney From H.S. Students - FOX 35 News Orlando

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Soldier's Family Gets Trip To Disney From H.S. Students

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STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -

If you ever wonder why bad things happen to good people and, then, how those same people stay so positive in the face of adversity, look no further than the Akbars.

"Things pretty much go my way," said Rasheed Akbar.

"Thank you, thank you," said Kristina Akbar. "These things don't normally happen to me, you know."

The Akbars are just grateful for all the support. It was a long year.

Husband and doting dad Rasheed, a U.S. Army Reservist, was deployed to Kuwait, leaving mom, Kristina, in charge of the family – a difficult enough time for anyone.

Then, December rolled around, and 4-year-old-daughter Jaiyana would not stop complaining about a tummy ache.

And that's when things went from difficult to nearly impossible for any set of parents.

"Originally she just told me that she was sick," Rasheed Akbar said.

"My heart stopped, it jumped out of my throat, did a couple of laps around the hospital, hit my stomach and then slammed on the floor," said Kristina Akbar.

All that came right after Kristina heard the doctor's diagnosis.

"The actual diagnosis is a WILMS tumor, which is a form of pediatric kidney cancer," said the mother.

Rasheed was allowed to come home for just three weeks for the surgery to remove Jaiyana's kidney and her first round of chemotherapy. Then, it was back overseas for dad.

"It was very, very difficult to be separated at that time. You know, she had to go weekly to the clinic, and that fell on me to do, so it was very – it was rough."

Smoothing things out was an unlikely group of Monsignor Farrell High School Students from Staten Island.

They heard the father was back for good now and decided to surprise the Akbars with an all-expense-paid trip to Disney World, along with some cash for some much needed rest and relaxation.

Senior Sean Egan says he loves helping heroes, and he knows a thing or two about them.

"My father passed on 9/11," Egan said. "And veterans really just reassured us after the attack that everything was going to be OK. And he's (Akbar) been in service almost 10 years, and that's lot of time, a lot of dedication. A trip to Disney doesn't pay nearly and of the debt we all owe him."

Great things are now happening to these good people. As of July, doctors declared Jaiyana cancer free, Fox's Joel Waldman reported.

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