When a leukemia diagnosis turned her world around, Lizzie, 11 wasn’t sure what her future would be like.
“Lizzie’s diagnosis took her from an average 11 year old to a little girl that didn’t know how she would make it to the next day — emotionally and physically,” said her mom, Laura. After spending a lot of time feeling stuck in the hospital, Lizzie’s wish to go to Epcot at Walt Disney World Resorts helped her see there is so much out there in the world that she still hasn’t experienced.
“I thought about a lot of options but I really wanted to do something with my family and a friend of mine from treatment who went to Disney World said it was so fun,” said Lizzie. “Plus, I would get to go in an airplane again!”
She was able to work with her volunteer Wish Granters to plan her trip and soon, the family was whisked away to Florida to start Lizzie’s wish adventure.
Lizzie said that she did have a great time in the park, riding rides and seeing the different characters but there was an unexpected treat that turned out to be the highlight of her wish trip.
“We stayed at Give Kids the World’s and they offer the wish kids unlimited ice cream,” said Laura.
“I loved it,” said Lizzie. “I got to eat so much ice cream that my mom had to limit it to three scoops a day.”
Lizzie also was overjoyed that she could pick whatever food she wanted during her wish trip.
“I really liked going to Epcot because I saw all the countries and got to try new foods I’ve never eaten before,” said Lizzie, who raved about Bao, an Asian steamed bun typically filled with meat or vegetables. “It’s one of my new favorite foods!”
Since the wish, Laura thinks the experience inspired her daughter’s newfound love for travel and now she’s motivated to see the rest of the world.
“This trip was so redeeming,” said Lizzie’s mom. “It erased all the bad memories of leukemia and replaced them with good ones, like Lizzie’s new food loves and time together as a family. Now she knows there is nowhere off limits for her.