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Amy’s mother describes her daughter as an articulate and talkative little girl; a mature young lady from the time she was a toddler.
One day, Amy’s mother noticed tiny red dots appearing underneath her daughter’s eye. A few days later, she noticed another red dot underneath the other eye. At that time, Amy’s mother decided she would take her to their family doctor, where he ordered blood work for Amy right away. Within hours of leaving the blood lab, they received a call from their doctor — it was urgent. Amy was told to go straight to the hospital.
Amy was nine years old when she was diagnosed with aplastic anemia; a condition that prevented her body from producing bone marrow and blood needed to survive. She was kept in hospital for over three months for treatment. After that, she was subject to doctor visits and treatment every other day for a very long time. “Before the diagnosis, she was a perfectly healthy little girl,” says Amy’s mother. “It (the diagnosis) turned our lives upside down.” The family’s rhythm shifted because of Amy’s illness, and they were no longer able to do activities they enjoyed as a group. Amy was constantly in the hospital, without strength, for a long time.
Amy’s parents heard about Make-A-Wish® about a year after her diagnosis, and her wish was to go to Walt Disney World® Resort with her family. They stayed at Give Kids the World Village, where every need and amenity they could wish for was available. Amy and her family also visited Sea World and Universal Studios. “It was an incredible wish – everything that Amy had wanted,” says her mother.
“The amazing part of staying at Give Kids the World was that they didn’t just think of Amy,” she explains. “This has affected Amy’s younger siblings too. They did an amazing job making sure they felt special too.”
Amy’s wish let her get away from the hospital, treatments and doctor visits. Amy was allowed to be a carefree little girl, playing with her siblings and braving rollercoasters. “It is very special that she could just be a kid again,” says her mother.
The impact of a wish can last longer than the wish itself. Six years later, Amy is thriving in grade 10. Her life currently revolves around school and church. She is an active member in musical theatre and loves to sing and dance. Maintaining her maturity, she enjoys going on mission trips with her church’s youth group because she loves giving back to her community.