It is not easy being the parent of a child with a life-threatening illness. Watching the normalcies of childhood – worry-free play, unabashed adventure and discovery – give way to doctor’s visits, treatments, and isolation.
Wish mom Emily is in awe of the transformative powers of her daughter Ava’s wish to go to Walt Disney World® Resort. The four-year-old and her family explore the many theme parks, and spend time with Ava’s favorite Disney princesses. Emily reflects on the hope and happiness this wish brought to their family:
“Ava was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on her first day of preschool. She was 2 years old.
[Ava’s wish] was a very special time for our family - mom, dad, Ava, and younger sister Abby (a baby when Ava was diagnosed). We met all the princesses (although Daddy insisted that none were as beautiful as Ava and Abby :-), and loved staying at Give Kids the World® Resort.
It was great to see the girls flourish and feel so carefree. It let us all breath and reconnect as a family after two years of logistics, medicine, procedures, insurance, and endless worry. It was much more than a vacation for us - it was a celebration of Ava’s strengths, and a week of pure happiness for a brave girl who deserves it so much. It was a reminder for our entire family that there is hope and happiness for us even in the middle of this challenging fight.”