Evelyn has always been a happy kid. Born with a congenital condition affecting her diaphragm, Evelyn and her parents have had to navigate an intense medical journey, including several emergency surgeries.
Evelyn’s nurse knew that Evelyn and her family could use something positive to look forward to that would give Evelyn the courage she needed to be strong, so she recommended Make-A-Wish.
“Evelyn’s wish came at the perfect time,” said Amber, Evelyn’s mom. “She had just gotten her traech out, so we could celebrate the end of the most difficult medical journey yet.”
“I knew what my wish would be right away!” shared Evelyn, who is now 4. “I love Minnie Mouse , so I wished to go to Walt Disney World to meet her in person! I felt so happy when I found out my wish was coming true.”
“I was surprised she specifically mentioned Halloween when we were discussing her wish, but definitely not that she talked about Minnie Mouse,” said Amber, who says Evelyn is obsessed with Minnie. “I was shocked Make-A-Wish was able to send us over Halloween because we only were approved for the wish in July.”
Evelyn, her parents, and three siblings enjoyed days at Walt Disney World in the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Universal Studios, and loved their stay at Give Kids the World, where Evelyn trick-or-treated dressed as Princess Poppy from Trolls.
“A wish changes peoples’ lives for the better. I know, for our family, this trip was something our kids will always remember. Because my sons were older when Evelyn was born, they’ve had to endure a lot and have been so supportive, so for them to get to share in her wish – I was speechless the entire trip,” said Amber.
Evelyn is definitely not speechless when sharing her favorite parts. She especially loved meeting Minnie Mouse, Anna and Elsa, as well as going on all the rides. But her mom will always have a different memory.
“Evelyn just discovered there are ‘doctors’ for animals, veterinarians, so she decided she wanted to be one. When we were at Animal Kingdom, they brought out a tortoise named Marla, and I think that was the most joyful moment for me. I got to see her dreams come true as she interacted with that tortoise,” said Amber.
Now, a year after her wish, Evelyn has less appointments and according to Amber, her mental health has been significantly boosted and she is braver.
“When her doctor said she needed X-Rays, she told him ‘I’m not afraid of X-Rays!’” said Amber, who is hoping Evelyn will be able to have her G-tube removed soon. “I really believe her wish has helped her come out of her shell, just like the tortoise she cared for at Disney.”