There’s no denying that wish kid Tara has star quality. Whenever she enters a room, people are instantly drawn to her sweet smile and big personality.
And when she stops by our office to reflect on her wish to have a red-carpet experience, it’s no different. Tara, with new puppy Leona in tow, stops by each and every desk, delivering smiles along the way.
When asked about her wish, Tara lights up even more. “It was a wish from Heaven,” she beams.
Born with a rare bone disorder that has affected her growth and mobility, Tara has undergone six surgeries and a number of treatments at hospitals around the world. But, even when thinking about all she’s been through, she remains optimistic. “That’s not that many surgeries for my age and condition,” she explains matter-of-factly. “It’s not that bad.”
Instead, Tara and Pamela focus on all the positives—on the traveling they’ve gotten to do, from Chile to New York, Peru to Las Vegas—and on the close mother-daughter bond they’ve forged along the way. “I tried to do the best for her,” says Pamela. “You do it with love.”
Of all they’ve seen and done, their best experience, by far they say, was Tara’s wish. “The most important experience that I had was with what [Make-A-Wish Hawaii] did—totally,” says Pamela. “It was like a recognition of her journey.”
In fact, Tara’s wish to have a red-carpet experience was “incredible” from the very first moment she found out it was coming true and started planning what to wear. Her mother spent hours painstakingly studding a pair of Tara’s sneakers to complement the “cool, rocker-vibe” she was aiming to model at an Oscar’s pre-party. She even spray-painted Tara’s wheelchair gold.
Soon, Tara and Pamela were flown to Los Angeles where they were greeted at the airport. There was also a special guest waiting to join them: Tara’s sister, Francisca, who flew in all the way from Chile.
From that moment, Tara’s wish was a “girls’ trip”—a chance to reunite with family and live out her dream.
The day of the Oscar’s, a hair and makeup team visited Tara’s room to get her ready, and, soon, she was experiencing her very first limo ride on the way to her red-carpet debut. Though the party was already brimming with models, actors, YouTubers, and music producers, Tara was the star of the show. As she exited the limo, she answered questions, posed for pictures, and took everything in.
“Everyone was telling me, ‘Look this way!’ ‘Look that way!’” she recalls excitedly.
After some mingling, Tara soon heard the sounds of a violin playing, followed by a toast in her honor. She was presented with a bouquet of roses and gifts, and she even got to hold a real Oscar. “Man, they’re heavy!” she exclaims.
Out of all this, Tara says it’s impossible to choose a favorite moment or memory from her wish. “It was all so fun,” she says. “It gave me a very, very good experience that I can remind myself in hard times that there’s always good in life.”
Pamela emphasizes the ongoing impact of Tara’s wish. “It made her feel important. I will never forget that,” she says. “I don’t have words to really describe it.”