Amari Daphine Grace truly embodies the love, victory, and grace for which she was named.
Born in Uganda, Daphine spent much of her childhood in an orphanage, where she experienced a stroke and was diagnosed with sickle cell disease. When Hawaii mom Lallie, her husband Christopher, and their four children moved to Uganda to adopt Daphine, they knew she would be a “gift and a joy who we treasure.” The family spent six months in Uganda waiting for the adoption to be finalized before moving back to the Big Island.
Once home with her loving family, Daphine enjoyed playing with her new siblings and discovering new American foods. She also loved playing princess. A true girlie girl, Daphine’s love of purple, pink, and everything princess helped get her through the hard journey of coping with medical complications associated with her sickle cell disease.
“It has been a very stressful couple of years due to Daphine’s health, and fun has had to be put on the back burner,” explains Lallie.
Before moving to Uganda, Lallie and Christopher had promised their children that someday they would all go to Disneyland. The only thing that would make the experience more special would be sharing it with Daphine, who also dreamed of visiting the happiest place on Earth with her family more than anything.
When wish granters Teysha and Kainalu entered the family’s lives to grant Daphine’s wish, there was no hesitation. Daphine wished to meet the fairytale princesses at Disneyland and enjoy time away with her parents and siblings. And through serious medical complications, Daphine and her family clung to the wish as a sign of hope, giving them strength when they needed it most.
When Daphine’s wish came true, it was truly magical. “Getting to go to Disneyland as a family thanks to Make-A-Wish was a very meaningful, full circle thing,” says Lallie. “The opportunity for our family to have fun together and build relationships was so valuable.”
Lallie recalls getting on the very first ride, Peter Pan, with Daphine sitting in between them, and just starting to cry. “We were so grateful for the blessing and gift of being chosen as a Make-A-Wish family,” she says.
For Daphine, the wish was the best time of her life; throughout the experience, she laughed, smiled, and said many times, “This is the best thing I’ve ever done!”
The wish also made a difference in her battle with sickle cell disease. After returning home, Lallie says that Daphine handled her blood transfusions better than ever before and that she benefited in so many ways: “She feels special and I think sees a silver lining in all her health challenges.”