Ella loves to dance. Though she cannot communicate easily verbally, she often expresses herself through music and dancing, according to mom Carly.
That is why, when Make-A-Wish Arizona visited Ella last July to talk about creating a wish experience, the focus was on finding a way to let Ella perform. Together, the wish granters and her family found Ella most energized when talking about becoming a Phoenix Suns dancer, just like she sees on TV.
What they didn’t realize was that the wish experience for this little girl born with a hole in her heart would become so much more.
“This wish helped me realized that every kid needs to have something special after everything they have endured,” said Carly. And, during the three days of practice before the performance, Carly could see her little girl blossoming.
“Her wish was about more than dancing, it was about becoming part of a team and sharing her experience with an entire stadium of supporters,” said Carly. “The dance team girls were so patient and loving with Ella, I wish I could hire them all as nannies!”
During practices, Ella was motivated by her amazing circle of new friends. And, when the family arrived early on game day, they all hung out in the dance team’s locker room. When it came time for the big performance, Ella had a blast dancing in front of thousands of people – including 150 individuals from her neighborhood and community.
“I was blown away,” Carly said. “Ella received an opportunity that not every girl her age can have and the whole experience was really special.”
Since the wish, Ella grabs her pompoms and Phoenix Suns jersey first thing every morning, so she can be just like her friends on the dance team.
“She loved every minute of her wish,” said Carly. “And it gave us an opportunity not to think about her condition but to have fun watching her do what she loves.”