“I hope that when she gets older and looks back on her childhood, she isn’t focused on her hospital stay but the time she transformed into a princess and met them all,” says wish mom Lisa of her 5-year-old daughter Katy’s battle with leukemia and her recent wish come true.
Honolulu wish kid Katy has endured things no child should have to: numerous treatments, a long hospital stay, a heartbreaking relapse, and a bone marrow transplant. Throughout her difficult medical journey, Katy found the strength to keep fighting by dreaming about her wish to go to Walt Disney World®. Encouraging her every step of the way was the hope that she would soon get to dance with all the princesses at their castle and maybe even become one herself.
And, when Katy was well enough to go, her carriage arrived—a limousine to take her and her family to the airport where they would fly across the ocean and over 4,500 miles to the faraway land of Walt Disney World. Soon, she was dressed in a sparkling pink princess dress, and, with stars in her eyes, she found herself hand in hand with Princess Belle, in a sweet embrace with Rapunzel, and dancing alongside Cinderella as her wish came true. According to Lisa, Katy wasn’t the only one; the whole family felt like royalty every step of the wish.
They stayed at Give Kids the World, a non-profit resort in Kissimmee, Florida that provides accommodations for children with critical illnesses and their families. Katy indulged in all the amenities at Give Kids the World, including its famous offering of endless ice cream. One morning, she enjoyed a bowl for breakfast—a little moment that brought her so much joy. “Just seeing her so happy about eating ice cream was so heartwarming,” said Lisa. “The wish was a great way for us to just enjoy each other and all the little things.”
Katy’s wish was a much-needed opportunity to dream about life beyond illness—to dance with princesses, enjoy ice cream, and spend time enjoying being a child at the Happiest Place on Earth. Her loving and supportive family truly believe “these new memories replaced the sad ones” from her battle with leukemia. Together, they are now looking ahead with renewed strength and a bright hope for the future.