By Parker Perry, Springfield News-Sun

CLARK COUNTY, Ohio — A Clark County 4-year-old battling a rare disease is taking a Florida vacation with his family thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and got a grand send off from Clark County deputies on Tuesday morning.

Paul Grandinette Jr. and his family got to ride in a limousine to the airport and were escorted to the county line by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office cruisers. He and his family were getting ready to fly to Florida to visit Disney World and Legoland.

“I’m going to fly on an airplane, my first trip on an airplane,” Paul Jr. said. “I am so excited.”

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Clark County deputies also gave him a young citizen’s award, made him an honorary deputy and gave him a badge.

Paul’s father, Paul Grandinette, said his son is battling a rare illness. Doctors have diagnosed him with autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease, but tests have shown that’s not exactly what he has. His son has gone through a lot for such a young boy, he said, and he hopes the vacation will help him battle what might be next.

“We are hoping this trip will make Paul’s future more bearable and it’s going to be kind of a stress relief because we’ve just had bad news after bad news after bad news, bad test result after bad test result,” Paul Grandinette said.

Paul Jr. said he is most excited about the haunted house at Disney World. The 4-year-old said he wasn’t afraid of fake ghosts.

Paul Grandinette said his son picked out the trip himself.

Paul Jr. is healthy right now, Paul Grandinette said, but soon doctors expect his kidneys and liver will give out and need to be replaced. The child is also at risk of getting brain tumors.

The dad said his son has been anticipating this trip for a long time.

“He’s been talking about the trip for weeks and weeks,” he said. “And as it has been getting closer and as a 4-year-old he’s been getting more and more excited.”

Paul Jr. said he is just as excited for Legoland as he is for Disney World. He said he hopes to collect more Star Wars Legos while on the trip.

Police officers give touching send-off to sick boy heading to Disney on Make-A-Wish trip Jeff Guerini/Springfield News-Sun

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