After several trips to the ER due to extreme headaches, nausea and eventually cardiac shock, twelve-year- old Ashley was delivered devastating news of a severe pulmonary hypertension, diagnosis. She required constant care, which forced her to trade public school for homeschool.
With her four siblings at school during the day, life became quiet and lonely. Ashley became withdrawn and would often stay in her room and read for hours. Only attending online school three times per week, Ashley devoted her free time to crafting and her YouTube channel. This gave her an opportunity to focus on something other than her illness and provided an outlet for joy in the midst of her struggle.
When Ashley met with her Wish Granters from Make-A- Wish, she shared with them her love of music, clothes, and of course, creating YouTube videos. After much anticipation, Ashley revealed her one true wish to have a shopping spree. Ashley explained she would never have an opportunity like this without Make-A- Wish's help. Time and attention are always shared between Ashley and her four siblings, but this was her chance to enjoy the spotlight and shop for whatever her heart desired. At the top of her list...an apple desktop so she can create better videos for her YouTube channel.
With the power of a wish bringing her endless hope, Ashley knows she can accomplish anything. It's incredible how one idea-- one wish-- can bring so much strength to a child faced with a life-threatening illness.
The transition from elementary school to middle school is tough enough without facing a life-threatening medical condition. As Wish Kid Kaila embarked on this new journey into adolescence, she did so while also undergoing chemotherapy for a rhabdomyosarcoma diagnosis, a rare form of cancer that attacks the connective and muscle tissue.
After attending the first few weeks of school, twelve-year- old Kaila soon learned her sixth-grade year would look different from all those before. Kaila often floats between attending school when she is well, and completing lessons in the hospital as she endures long treatments and chemotherapy sessions.
To pass the time in the hospital, Kaila turns to those things that bring her the most joy—one of which is Anime art. Kaila often tunes into YouTube to watch her favorite artist, Baylee Jae, as she teaches drawing lessons to her audience.
When sharing her interests and talents with volunteer Wish Granters, Kaila mentioned her love for Baylee Jae and the hope she found in watching her videos. Kaila’s wish? To meet and draw with her hero, in Baylee Jae’s hometown of Vancouver, Canada! Kaila’s Wish Granters quickly went to work to reach out to Baylee Jae and plan this wish and even went so far as engaging Baylee Jae to record a video especially for Kaila announcing her wish come true.
At a special school assembly, Kaila watched in amazement as her hero said her name and shared the good news of a wish come true. After a few weeks of planning and waiting, the time finally came for Kaila and her family to fly to Vancouver. Following a restless but excited night’s sleep, they were off to the Vancouver Art Museum. After waiting anxiously in the lobby for a few moments, Baylee Jae rounded the corner and greeted Kaila with a giant hug! Kaila could hardly keep from crying; before her stood her very own real life hero, and it almost seemed too good to be true. Baylee Jae and Kaila both came with gifts for each other, and after a few moments getting to know each other, they were off to their own art studio where they would spend the afternoon laughing and drawing together.
After drawing for most of the afternoon, it was time to head to dinner, and after dinner, Kaila and Baylee Jae finished their artwork and traded with each other. As Kaila and Baylee Jae said goodbye for the evening, it was clear that neither the hope nor the joyful memories from this wish would soon be forgotten.
Jillian is charming and cheerful with a larger than life personality. She remains upbeat and joyful, despite her neuroblastoma diagnosis at the young age of 3 years old.
Jillian is especially fond of music, and enjoyed singing along to her favorite songs, even at the hospital. In spite of the progression of her illness, she continued to watch her favorite sing-a- long video of Disney World on a daily basis.
She had always told her mother she would take a trip to Disney World when she was better, but she didn’t realize she would be given the opportunity to go so soon! When her Wish Granters asked where she wanted to go, she exclaimed without hesitation, DISNEY WORLD! “I want to go there very bad. It will make me feel so much better. I want to see Mickey and Minnie... oh and Tinker Bell, Periwinkle and Ariel!” And the list went on and on!
With some help from Make-A- Wish volunteers, Jillian received her wish to go to Disney World.
Once they arrived at the park, Jillian was on a mission. She wanted to track down every Disney character and princess, the same characters and princesses she had come to know and love while watching the Disney sing-a- long video in the hospital.
While at Disney World, she never tired and was able to meet all of the wonderful characters she had grown so fond of during her treatment.