When Lily began feeling dizzy at school, her mom Misty initially thought it was just an ear infection – nothing a dose of antibiotics couldn’t cure. When symptoms progressed, bringing Lily back into the doctor’s office, life as this Oahu family knew it drastically changed. Lily was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma, a brain tumor.
This uninvited disease took its toll on sweet Lily, who bravely underwent brain surgery and began a rigorous medical treatment involving a combination of radiation and chemotherapy. Her battle weighed on the whole family, as they tirelessly rallied in support of Lily to cheer her on and be her source of strength. When Lily learned of her eligibility for a wish, it sparked the start of a new journey that gave her whole family something positive to reach for – something to bring a boost of hope, strength and joy.
And so her magical journey with Make-A-Wish® Hawaii began. First step? Spend time with Lily and ask her to tap into her imagination. It became clear that this 7-year-old girl loved two things: Disney and water! When she’s indoors, she loves to unwind and watch Disney TV shows, and when she’s outdoors, she prefers water over land! As she shared her hobbies and passions, it didn’t take long for her to discover her one true wish. She dreamed of going on a Disney Cruise Line® adventure! What better way to marry her love for Disney and water?
All aboard! Lily and her whole family – Mom Misty, Dad Chris, and sisters Hosanna and Sara – got picked up in style by Platinum Limousine. At Honolulu International airport, they flew in comfort on Alaska Airlines, eager to depart Honolulu and sail away to a week of fun family time and adventures upon the seas. Arriving in Orlando, Florida, the family boarded at Port Canaveral for their once-in-a-lifetime Caribbean Cruise aboard the Disney Fantasy – a majestic 14-deck ship that takes guests back to the whimsical magic of Disney in the 1920s and 30s, with a parasol and steamer trunk!
Lily and her family were quickly entranced by the grandeur of the ship and the natural beauty of the crystal clear Caribbean waters. The cruise allowed them to relax for the first time in a long while – to laugh, play and explore. Ask Lily what her favorite part of the trip was, and she’ll give you an indecisive smile – it’s too hard to pick! Each day was filled with wonder and amazement as the ship stopped at paradise after paradise – Cozumel, Mexico, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Castaway Cay, Bahamas, and Falmouth, Jamaica. Lily and her family bonded over thrilling excursions at each stop, from a Dolphin Encounter and a swim at Stingray City in the Cayman Islands to an Atlantis Submarine Expedition! Not to mention the onboard activities, including the SIX pools – a dream come true for water-loving Lily!
Wish Mom Misty says this trip continues to bring Lily and their family hope, strength and joy, as the memories and family bonding gained from the cruise stay close to their hearts – a wish made possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of Disney, a long-time Make-A-Wish® supporter.
Over the past 30 years, Disney has supported the Make-A-Wish® mission, contributing more than $9 million in cash and in-kind donations each year. With more than 7,000 wishes granted every year – including visits to the Disney Parks, Disney Cruises, meeting Disney Characters, attending sporting events and visiting TV and movie sets – Disney-themed wishes continue to be the most popular requests by Make-A-Wish® children.
Special Thanks: Alaska Airlines, OC16, Jenn Boneza, Disney Cruise Line®, Platinum Limousine