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Wish Blog

Jun 01, 2020

A Letter from Wish Mom and Volunteer Erin

As a Disney Cast Member in college, I saw many Make-A-Wish families having the time of their lives. I always admired Make-A-Wish for what they do to help families of seriously ill children. I had no idea that I would soon find out just how special a Wish can truly be. In 2017, when my daughter Harper was 7 years old, she began having pain in her legs and just wasn't acting like herself. After many trips to the doctor, she was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of pediatric cancer. Not long after her diagnosis, the child life specialist at our hospital asked if we had thought about contacting Make-A-Wish.
  • Wish kid Harper decorates cake pops with YouTube baking sensation Rosanna Pansino.

  • Harper getting ready before meeting Ro!

  • Leah, Rosanna, and Harper pose with their finished cake pops!

  • The girls had a blast shooting their very own music video!

  • Selfies with Ro!

  • Cake pops by the ocean!

Not long after, we met Harper's Wish Granters and they asked what her one true wish was. She had tons of ideas, from Disney to New York City to going behind the scenes at a zoo or aquarium. She was having a hard time deciding, and I told her that this was her one chance to really shoot for the moon. She loves to bake, and she loves to watch Nerdy Nummies, a YouTube channel about baking pop culture-themed treats. She came up with the idea of meeting Rosanna Pansino, the host of the channel and baking with her, and I knew immediately that she had found her Wish.

As she fought through nearly a year of chemotherapy, radiation, and multiple surgeries, Harper's Wish kept her going. She would watch Nerdy Nummies in her hospital room and talk about how fun it would be to meet Ro and all the fun things they could make together. Her Wish Granters kept in touch, visiting every so often to bake with Harper and learn more about her. We were expecting to have to wait until she finished treatment so she would be able to travel, but Make-A-Wish had a surprise in store. They invited us to a beautiful hotel for a "staycation" to celebrate World Wish Day. Every moment of that weekend was beyond our expectations. As we watched sea turtles swim from the balcony of our suite, had tea overlooking the ocean, and helped the hotel pastry chefs bake a cake, Harper kept saying "I can't believe we really get to do this!" There was one more surprise, however. After being surprised with the entire line of Nerdy Nummies baking supplies, Harper was shown a video from Rosanna Pansino herself, who had come all the way to Hawaii to grant Harper's Wish and bake cake pops with her the next morning!

The next day Harper was treated like a princess. Professional hair and makeup, a photo shoot, and an entire morning spent with Ro. She had the time of her life and had a huge smile on her face for days afterward. It wasn't until after we were back home that we truly realized the impact a Wish can have. Until that weekend, we hadn't had a chance to relax and be together as a family in almost a year. Harper's Wish gave us the chance to focus on each other without worrying about hospitals or blood counts or avoiding germs. When Harper had her next clinic appointment, her counts were higher than they had been in weeks. She told her nurse "I'm happy, so my blood is happy!"

I knew then that I wanted to stay involved with this wonderful organization, and help other families have experiences as magical as ours was. We have spoken about our experience at a few events, but I wanted to do more. I decided to become a Wish Granter. Knowing firsthand how impactful a Wish can be, I'm so excited to be a part of that process and use my experience to help other families get through a very dark time in their lives. I am a big believer in "paying it forward," and I can't think of a better way to do that than by helping another child's wish come true.

Make-A-Wish Hawaii would like to thank wish mom-turned-wish granter Erin for wishing it forward and sharing her story. Read more about her daughter Harper's wish here

About this Blog

Wish Blog gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the wonderful work happening at Make-A-Wish® Hawaii. See how the wishes of local keiki battling critical illnesses come together and how they change lives forever. Hear directly from those who work or volunteer here, or from those in your neighborhood who have been transformed by a wish in some way. Discover why we are so committed to achieving our vision of granting the wish of every eligible child, every year.

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Make-A-Wish® Hawaii
P.O. Box 1877
Honolulu, HI 96805
(808) 537-3118 x100