Salma, 6, has a passion for dancing, an admiration of princesses, is happiest in the water and loves animals. All of those things together made her wish to go to Discovery Cove in Florida the perfect wish for her!
Salma’s wish experience started with a great initial visit with her volunteer wish granters, Brittany and Randell.
“She was hilarious and so loving and spunky,” said volunteer wish granter Brittany. “Getting to know Salma and her family was so much fun. I instantly bonded with the both of them. It wasn’t like I had just met strangers, I felt like I had known them for years.”
Fellow volunteer wish granter Randell also had a special connection with Salma. He was a previous wish kid, with his wish granted in 1980, the first year the organization existed.
“Getting to grant a wish really opened my eyes to the hardships a family faces when a child has a life-threatening medical condition,” said Randell.
“To be a part of Salma’s experience, I was able to kind of relive my own and it also made me appreciate how much my mother would have been going through. The fact that a wish can benefit an entire family really hit home for me.”
Her wish granters were there to send off Salma and her family on her wish to go to Discovery Cove. And they weren’t disappointed with the great stories the family shared when they returned!
“On just her first day of the wish, Salma was brave enough to swim with dolphins at Discovery Cove,” said her mother, Andrea. “Because of her cardiac condition, she can be super shy and doesn’t often go out on her own but by the end of the day, she was petting sting rays AND sharks, floating along the lazy river, and relaxing in the pools.
“Her face lit up when she was able to touch a real dolphin,” Andrea continued. “I can’t tell you the joy I felt seeing her embrace the wish experience!”
As her wish continued, so did her fun! Salma had a VIP tour of Sea World and a day at Walt Disney World resorts.
At Disney, Salma was super excited to meet Anna and Elsa from Frozen, even getting the princesses to sign her autograph book. She took many turns on the magic carpet ride, and ended her day watching the fireworks over Cinderella’s castle.
”Salma’s wish was truly a dream come true,” said Andrea. “It made us feel so special, knowing this extravagant wish experience was created so we could enjoy time with Salma, with no worries and no stress.”
Salma, too, remembers her wish fondly.
“She looks through her autograph book all the time,” continued Andrea. “I can tell by the fact that she is always smiling that she created some unforgettable memories.”