10-year-old Gracie has been battling leukemia. For her and her family, they are in a constant state of fear and anxiety about the future. A light of hope came when Gracie received her letter, which said she would be granted a wish from Make-A-Wish Colorado. A sense of joy was restored as she spent time dreaming of what to wish for. “The idea of a wish in itself gave us something fun to think of instead of focusing on her medical condition,” Elizabeth, Gracie’s mom, recalled.
Constant blood transfusions had often limited her ability to do "typical" activities, so when deciding on what her one true wish would be, Gracie wanted to go somewhere where she could feel like a "normal kid." She decided that Walt Disney World Resorts would be the ultimate trip to accomplish just that normalcy and jubilance she was craving.
Arriving at Walt Disney World, the magnitude of the parks sent chills through Gracie. So many exciting rides, but where to begin? Gracie and her sisters loved all of the rides, especially the tallest and fastest roller coaster, Mako, “it made her feel like she was flying,” Elizabeth shared. After braving the Mako, Gracie and her sisters ventured into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where they were paired with their pet of choice, an owl, rat or perhaps a cat, as well as the wand that was fated to be theirs. Finally ending the journey by being properly matched by the Sorting Hat, to the destined house, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin.
In the afternoons, Gracie and her family indulged in ice cream treats, before retiring for the night at Give Kids the World. “Give Kids the World Village was like sleeping in Candyland,” Elizabeth recalled. Each night, Mayor Clayton would tuck the girls into bed. The giggles bounced off the walls as the girls fell peacefully into a slumber, catching up on their rest before starting the next adventure in the morning.
With each new activity, Gracie was reminded what it was like to be a kid without any limitations. "It was hard to come back home to reality," Elizabeth said, but now that Gracie is home again, her hard days are met with sweet reminders of the best days from her wish trip. Instead of talking with her classmates about her illness, she gets to brag about all the fun she had at Walt Disney World Resort with her family.