BILLINGS - It's a special time for everyone when the Montana Hope Project helps a family, which it's been doing by granting wishes to children with critical illnesses since 1984.
On Thursday night in Billings, Montana Highway Patrol troopers presented Ryder Hoyem and his family with a trip to Disney World in Orlando. Ryder, who will soon turn 3, has congenital heart issues.
Newly sworn-in Billings Mayor Bill Cole attended and called the troopers and the Hoyem family a great inspiration. The trip is a chance for the family to take a break from hospital trips and therapy.
“We're just so grateful to be able to have this opportunity,” said Crystal Hoyem, Ryder’s mother. “And be able to take Ryder on a trip, the whole family on a trip like this. He's so excited."
"Once in a lifetime opportunity for us to go,” said Chris Hoyem, Ryder’s father. “We’re just really thankful and feel blessed to be able to do this."
"When we have the opportunity to come and do things like this and see the effect that it has on the children and their siblings and their family," said Sgt. Toy Beehler of the Montana Highway Patrol. ”It's just awesome. It can make a bad day good just like that."
The Montana Hope Project granted 24 wishes in 2017 and a total of 463 over the last 35 years.