Charlie’s family lives by the motto, “CharlieStrong” to describe her, because she has proven just how strong she is throughout her medical journey.
Her wish to go to Walt Disney World in 2018 was an opportunity to celebrate everything she has been through since her diagnosis.
“Charlie was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor called a craniopharyngioma and our daughter’s wish was a great reminder to breathe, come together, and move forward with our hearts full of love,” said her mom, Miranda. “From the moment we woke up the morning of the flight, everything was incredible. A limo picked us up to take us to the airport and the kids were amazed.”
“I knew right away that my wish was to go to Disney World. I love Disney so much, and I was excited for my trip,” Charlie said. “I had never been on a plane before, so I was a little nervous. Luckily, my sister was there, and she made me feel better.”
As soon as the plane was in the air, all of Charlie’s fears turned into excitement. “When we got to Orlando, we stayed at Give Kids the World and it was so cool. They had ice cream for breakfast, but my dad said we couldn’t eat too much,” Charlie said.
One of Charlie’s favorite parts of the trip was visiting the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. “Aladdin is my favorite movie, so I wanted to dress up as Princess Jasmine. She is so brave, just like me. I also got to have my hair and make-up done, which made me feel like a princess,” Charlie said.
It was Halloween-time when Charlie went to the theme parks, so the following day, the whole family dressed up as characters from the movie, Coco.
“It was a great way for the entire family to create memories all together. Dressing up together is something we will always remember,” Miranda said.
Charlie also enjoyed meeting princesses like Ariel and Cinderella, eating plenty of churros, and braving The Tower of Terror. “I was pretty scared leading up to it, but I wanted to go because my whole family was doing it.”
Just like her other fears, Charlie conquered the ride. “I was shaking to death when I got off, but it was so much fun,” she said. “After I went on The Tower of Terror, I wasn’t scared of anything else anymore. My wish was a dream come true.”
Charlie’s family has continued to support Make-A-Wish Arizona by participating in the Walk for Wishes.
“We created a Walk for Wishes team to help grant more wishes for families going through the unimaginable,” said Miranda, who enjoyed the opportunity to dress up again in their matching #CharlieStrong shirts.
Together, “Team CharlieStrong” raised $680 last year by gathering friends and family to join the team, as well as using social media to share their wish experience and gather even more donations. They are looking forward to participating in the Walk For Wishes again this fall.
“People should sign up for the Walk For Wishes to raise money, awareness, and hope for all the families that have been affected by a critical illness,” said Miranda. “One our favorite parts of the walk was the excitement. The music and exercise before the race really put us in the mood and felt like a party!”