For the past 17 years, Danielle has struggled to breathe due to her chronic respiratory failure. Her wish to go on a Disney Cruise Line cruise allowed her to forget about her struggles and encouraged her to enjoy new experiences with her family.
“Danielle was born at just three pounds. She was in the hospital for the first thirteen months of her life, and we really did not know what would happen because of her respiratory condition,” said her mom, Cheri. “Now, she is 17 years old and she can walk around and hold her head up on her own. She is still going through therapy and faces a lot, but she has always been our smart little girl and things are starting to look up.”
Danielle wished to go on a Disney Cruise Line cruise to visit their private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, and, most importantly, she wanted to swim with the dolphins.
“Swimming is my favorite thing to do and I imagined myself feeling the warm sand and sitting at the beach for my wish,” Danielle said.
“Danielle absolutely loves the water and animals,” said Cheri. “Swimming with dolphins was the perfect opportunity for her to combine the two.”
Visualizing her wish helped distract Danielle from her medical issues and gave her hope for the future. When Danielle arrived at the dolphin encounter, she was able to kiss, hug, and even dance with the dolphins.
“I think swimming with the dolphins was everyone’s favorite part. We got to be right up close with them. It was incredible!” Cheri said.
Another highlight of Danielle’s trip was going on a jetboat tour at Castaway Cay.
“It was exciting because we were able to see shipwrecks, then we snorkeled in the water and we even saw a shark. It was also nice to relax on the beach and enjoy some family time,” she continued.
Danielle experienced many fun memories on the cruise ship as well. Her favorite night was Pirate Night, when all the guests and the crew on board dressed up like pirates.
“Danielle loved her pirate outfit. It was a night filled with laughter and memories that none of us will ever forget,” Cheri said.
Danielle, who is going to be a junior in high school, is looking forward to everything the next year has in store.
“Danielle’s wish made her more positive. Words can’t describe how perfect everything was, from the beginning to the very end. It gave the whole family, especially Danielle, an opportunity to forget about everything going on at home and just have fun.”