When Jovanna was diagnosed with cancer, everything changed. But her passion for swimming did not.
Make-A-Wish Arizona reached out to Jovanna, who was still going through treatment and feeling a bit unsure as to what she would pick for her wish. As a member of the Dolphins Swim Team, Jovanna knows a thing or two about dolphins and being in the water is a huge part of her life – so she wished to take her swimming skills to Discovery Cove where she could swim alongside real dolphins!
“From the start of the trip, Jovanna was treated so special,” Jovanna’s mom, Marisa, said. “At the Phoenix airport, they announced her name in front of everyone and that she was on her Make-A-Wish trip. It was so special and emotional for us all.”
Jovanna recalls that “all of the trip was really fun, and I got to enjoy it with my mom, dad, and my brother.”
“The first day was my favorite because that’s when we went to Discovery Cove and got to touch and swim with the dolphins,” said Jovanna. “As a swimmer, I was surprised how strong, fast and smart the dolphins were.”
Jovanna and her family also learned some new fun facts about the animals.
“We learned that dolphins have their eyes on the side of their head so they can see both sides, front and back. Baby Prim was JoVanna's favorite dolphin because she was so cute, smart, and energetic!” said Marisa. “We did mention to the crew that JoVanna and her brother were swimmers and they got to swim in the deep part of the water to meet with the dolphin and the instructor.”
Since returning home, Jovanna has been excited to share her wish experience with her friends on the swim team.
“This experience helped Jovanna gain more confidence and became a better swimmer,” said Marisa. “It makes my heart melt because Jovanna was smiling and so happy during her wish. She had such a good time she even asked me if we could have a dolphin in our pool at home.”
“She’s much happier now and wants to spend more time with us as a family,” Marisa continued. “Jovanna said that she feels like she can do whatever she wants now that she feels stronger and more confident.”