“Mom, they’re real!” exclaimed Kirra, 4, after meeting Peter Pan and Wendy on her wish to go to Disneyland® Resort. For a little girl who loves Disney movies and all of their characters, going to Disneyland was a wish-come-true.
Kirra, her parents and her baby sister enjoyed a five-day, four-night trip to the Magic Kingdom. There, she met Mickey and Minnie, Daisy, Goofy, Jasmine, Ariel, Snow White, Belle, Jessie from Toy Story 2, Donald Duck, Rapunzel and many more. When asked which character was her favorite, she said it wouldn’t be fair to pick just one.
Kirra’s mom, Joey, said her favorite part of the trip was watching Kirra have fun. “Disney is a magical place for anybody,” she said, “but watching her enjoy herself and seeing the magic through her, it made us kids, too. We were kids for a week.” Joey said the trip was like a weight off her shoulders because she didn’t have to worry about doctor’s appointments or medications for Kirra’s leukemia. “It was just a little bit of normalcy to be able to enjoy ourselves.”
To this day, the wish experience continues to impact the family. Kirra still talks about it and sometimes asks her mom when they plan to go back. For her mom, it’s the memories of time spent together as a family – memories that she says they wouldn’t be able to have without Make-A-Wish.
From beautiful beaches to colorful luaus, 9-year-old Abbey experienced some of what Hawaii has to offer, thanks to Make-A-Wish® Oregon. Abbey spent five days in the land of paradise with her family. It all began with a fresh lei greeting, which helped set the stage for a vacation of a lifetime. From there, it was a day spent playing on the warm sand, snorkeling, and exploring the streets of Waikiki. Abbey even made friends with two macaws who sat on her shoulder and arm for pictures. The family also got to enjoy a day at the popular Polynesian Cultural Center and SeaLife Park, where she saw dolphins, penguins and sea lions. Abbey’s parents said the entire family had a fantastic time and that everything was perfect.
When 12-year-old Brigit had the opportunity to make her one-true-wish, there was no question what it would be. She wanted to meet her favorite, red, furry monster - Elmo! Make-A-Wish Oregon made some calls, and Elmo flew all the way from Sesame Street to Portland just to meet Brigit and her family at her home in Milwaukie. Brigit was diagnosed at birth with Cerebral Palsy and is non-speaking. Along with hand gestures, and movements, she uses a special communicator device to express herself. Prior to Elmo's big arrival, Brigit put together a few special messages to convey her thoughts. She introduced herself, "my name is Brigit" and several times throughout the visit, she pressed the button to communicate, "I am so excited to finally meet you" and "I love you!" Even without her messages, it was obvious to all that she was overjoyed at having her wish granted. Well, the feeling was mutual and as Elmo told Brigit on more than one occasion "Elmo LOVES Brigit!" As Brigit and Elmo spent time together, Elmo lavished love and affection on the child who has long found comfort in this character. Her mom noted that on days when Brigit was getting upset or having trouble relaxing, they always knew that if Elmo was on, she would calm down. There was no shortage of hugs and giggles as Elmo sang songs, gave her autographed pictures, and showered her with special Sesame Street gifts selected just for her. For Brigit and her family her wish was a dream come true and the memories will last a lifetime. Elmo would agree they are friends for life.