Some wishes are big. Some wishes are small. While Reesa’s wish to visit Flagstaff and feel the cool air on her face may sound simple to some, it was the perfect getaway she needed during a hot Arizona summer and meant everything to her family.
5-year-old Reesa, who has a severe brain disease, is a strong little girl despite the health challenges she has faced in her short life.
“My baby was diagnosed after she started missing major developmental milestones,” said her dad, Sean. “She wasn’t supposed to live past 2 years old, but now she is 5 ½ and loving life.”
With only one doctor who specializes in Reesa’s disease, her family soon became very familiar with the long flight from Arizona to his practice in Pennsylvania. It was during this time that Reesa’s family came across others who were dealing with similar conditions.
“As Reesa’s disease showed no signs of improvement, we started following other families online,” said Sean. “That is when we discovered Make-A-Wish Arizona and the amazing things they did for these children.”
When Reesa was referred for a wish, her family knew there were many possibilities of what Reesa could do – but one thing stood out.
“If there is one thing Reesa loves, it is the feeling of cool, fresh air on her face,” said Sean. “She really enjoys being outside, listening to the sound of wind going through the trees and spending time on our patio. It’s her happy place.”
“It’s very hard to travel with Reesa due to her mobility, medical equipment and full-time nurse,” he continued. “Reesa is nonverbal, but we knew she would want to go someplace where the weather was nice in the summer and we could spend a lot of time outside. She was so happy to get out of the house.”
The opportunity to safely travel to Flagstaff made all the difference to Reesa and her everyday routine. She was able to do her exercises outside in the cool air rather than in the heat that the Phoenix area experiences in the summer.
“Ressa’s wish was the perfect amount of activities and relaxation,” said Sean. “We stayed in a beautiful cabin, which had a lot of amazing amenities, and we were able to go on walks with our dogs, play at the park, swim in the pool, and soak in the beautiful views of Flagstaff!”
And Reesa had her wish granted over her birthday, which made the experience extra special! Her family enjoyed a beautiful dinner on the patio with a phenomenal birthday cake that was made custom to Reesa.
One of Reesa’s favorite parts of her wish was getting a full body message, which now is a recurring experience because it makes her so happy. Her family also participated in a photoshoot so they will be able to hold on to these happy memories forever.
“She was able to do all of the things she loves,” said Sean. “Although Reesa isn’t able to express herself in words, you could tell this meant the world to her.”