Ace & T.J.’s Grin Kids depart from Concord-Padgett Regional Airport

CONCORD – Keith and Tammy Proctor learned their about-to-be newborn son had heart defects before he was even born. Doctors said that Rhys Proctor would never be a normal child.

The parents were asked about potentially terminating the pregnancy, but the Proctors weren’t going to give in.

Rhys is a flourishing 10-year-old child who is attends Hickory Grove Christian School in north Charlotte.

He’s had two open heart surgeries, two cath labs and way too many tests.

Rhys will always have a heart defect, according to Tammy Proctor, but that doesn’t prevent him from living a full lifestyle.

On Wednesday, Rhys and 19 other children who are chronically disabled or terminally ill took off with their families to Orlando, Fla. for an all-expense-paid vacation to Walt Disney World.

The once-in-a-lifetime trip is part of radio personalities Ace & T.J.’s Grin Kids.

“This is very surreal,” Tammy Proctor said. “When we found out, I actually argued on the phone that I thought they were punking me.”

The Ace & T.J. Show is a nationally syndicated radio show based out of Charlotte. Locally, they are on 96.1 FM from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on weekdays.

They have hosted Grin Kids for 20 years.

“Watching the magic of Disney through these kids’ eyes and these families’ eyes, who have never experienced anything like this, it is really special and makes it all worthwhile,” Ace said.