Born with a rare disease called lymphedema, Yeira has suffered from heart problems all her life. Through the heart surgeries, treatments and endless doctors’ appointments, Yeira’s faith and the support of her family have helped her stay strong.
When Make-A-Wish Arizona asked Yeira what her one true wish was, she knew that she wanted her wish to be connected to her faith.
“I decided on meeting the Pope because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime-experience that I wanted to share with my family,” Yeira said. “A lot of people can travel to Rome, but not many people are able to meet the Pope.”
“Yeira’s wish granters were just amazing throughout the whole process,” Yeira’s mother Yanet said. “Only three months after Yeira chose her wish, they put everything together for us. We didn’t have to worry about anything the entire time.”
Yeira’s parents and two siblings joined her on her wish, and before meeting the Pope they enjoyed exploring various churches in Rome and the Colosseum, eating great food and touring the Vatican.
When the morning arrived for Yeira and her family to meet the Pope, they waited in excited anticipation. The moment Pope Francis entered the room, Yanet immediately had goosebumps.
“He came up to us and he kissed my head and blessed me,” Yeira said. “When he hugged me, I suddenly felt like everything was going to be okay.”
“He is an angel on earth,” Yanet said. “When he touched my head and spoke to me in Spanish, I started crying. It was an indescribable feeling.”
Now that Yeira and her family are back home in Arizona, she still can’t believe she met Pope Francis.
“Whenever she sees him on television, she says, ‘Hey, I met that guy!’” Yanet said. “We feel so special and lucky to have experienced this wish. We’ll always be thankful that Make-A-Wish Arizona did this for us.”
For Yeira, her faith has only grown stronger after being blessed by the Pope.
“After meeting him, it made me believe even more in my faith,” she said. “I want to go back and do it all again!”