April 6, 2014 is a day that changed the lives of Shannelle and her family forever.
It started out as any normal Sunday, going to church and spending time with family, and ended with a pain that Shannelle just couldn't bear. "Late in the evening, Shannelle screamed," said her mom, Debbie. "I knew it was time to rush her to Pali Momi's ER department."
The doctors ran test after test, and the very next day, the diagnosis was clear; Shannelle had acute lymphoid leukemia and was admitted to Kapiolani hospital.
Shannelle has been fighting for her life and her health ever since. Due to major reactions to certain medications, Shannelle's battle was one that needed to be monitored closely, and from May to November, she stayed at Kapiolani, using every ounce of her strength hoping to be healed. And during this trying time, a new source of light entered their lives.
"My heart soared with joy when we got the call from our very dear wish granter, Kandis," said Debbie. Kandis and her wish granting partner, Shannon, became the hope that Shannelle and her family needed. And it didn’t take long for the wish-granting duo to get to the heart of Shannelle's wish; her love for the popular movie and book series Harry Potter inspired her wish to go to the real-life Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios®!
Off to Hogwarts!
Shannelle's magical adventure started with a behind-the-scenes tour of the famous Hogsmeade Village. There, she and her family went to Wands by Gregorovitch to find the perfect wand for Shannelle. After testing out two wands, Shannelle found her match. "Ahhh, the wand chooses the wizard," declared the kind wizard. Shannelle had been transported into the movies she knows and loves. But Shannelle's magical wand could not dampen the excitement of The Dragon Challenge. "It was like we were a part of one of the Harry Potter movies once more. It was such an amazing thrill and awesome experience."
A Light in the Darkness
The joy that Shannelle and her family experienced on her wish meant more than just enjoying a few laughs and fun rides; to them, every smile was something to treasure. As Albus Dumbledore once said, "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." The wish helped them to remember to "turn on the light" and to revel in moments of joy.
"I have seen Shannelle's smile widen and her energy increase. I believe that her wish has strengthened her spirit, soul, mind and outlook on life," said Debbie. "Her wish has impacted our family greatly. As a parent, it gives me comfort and peace to know that this experience has helped us be more positive and look forward, toward Shannelle's path to healing."
Special Thanks: Wish granters Kandis Rohner and Shannon Ross, Walt Disney World®, Give Kids the World Village®, Universal Studios Orlando, Platinum Limousine, National Car Rental, Dave & Buster's.