Special needs student from Naperville gets encouragement from Disney writer

FOX 32 NEWS - A special needs student from Naperville who would like to write for Disney someday got some encouragement from a real pro on Thursday.

For many Disney fans, the chance to meet Princess Belle from Beauty and the Beast would be the unforgettable highlight of their day. But when FOX 32 asked Erin Feeney, a 25-year-old with cerebral palsy, who she was most excited to meet today, she spelled out a different answer: “Shea.”

"Shea" is Shea Fontana, the writer of the Disney on Ice show "Follow Your Heart." After taking in the show Thursday morning at the United Center, Erin, a promising young writer herself, had one of her dreams come true: A power lunch with Shea, a real Disney writer.

“It’s such an honor to be here and meet Erin, I was able to read all of her stuff before I came, and she is a very talented writer,” Shea Fontana said.

Despite being confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak, Erin has already completed a book of fairytales and wants to write more children's stories.

“So, to actually meet somebody from Disney as kind as Shea, and maybe have a chance, that's, how many people actually get their dreams come true? (Erin screams) So we're excited about it. Right, honey? You can tell,” said Erin’s father, Kevin.

Over lunch, Erin told Shea that someday she'd like to write scripts for Disney. And Shea told Erin that for her, at least, writing for Disney has been a dream come true.

Shea also told Erin that the Disney Company wants Erin to pitch some story ideas for Disney Junior's Doc McStuffin's TV show.

“Doc McStuffins is all about kids having this acceptance, and realizing that no matter what, no matter what life throws at them, they can follow their dreams,” Shea Fontana said.

“You know, whether it leads to the fulfilment of her dream to actually work for Disney, I don't know. Just getting the opportunity, it's wonderful, it's almost like a first job,” Kevin said.

A first job, maybe, but Erin's ability to succeed at writing, despite her challenges, is a tale as old as time.

Erin’s book of fairytales is called, "Kids in Toyland." It has an anti-bullying message and the movie short recently won a prize at the Naperville Independent Film Festival.