Drawing characters is one of 13-year-old Jilian’s true passions. She loves conjuring up new characters and imagining them battling alongside her most cherished fictional friends from the Cartoon Network® television show Steven Universe™. After being diagnosed with lymphoma, Jilian distracted herself during her visits to the hospital by escaping into endless episodes of her favorite show. When she discovered that she was eligible for a wish, Jilian knew that a true once-in-a-lifetime experience would be to meet Rebecca Sugar—the creator of the show that helped bring an immeasurable amount of happiness into her life.
From the moment Jilian woke up on her wish day, she was beaming with joy. Jilian and her family were picked up from their hotel in a luxurious limousine and transported to Cartoon Network Studios. Upon entering the building, Jilian was welcomed to draw alongside the animators of the show. With much excitement, she dug through the bins of markers and scribbled her own creature onto the wall. Upon completing her own masterpiece, Jilian was met with the warmest hug from Rebecca Sugar herself. Following a tour around the building, Rebecca helped Jilian voice her favorite character, Peridot, in the studio. “Being a part of the actual show that has taught me so many lessons on how to be strong was really special,” Jillian shared. Though the general public won’t get to hear Jilian on TV, she does have her own copy of the recording to listen to whenever she likes. Following a pizza party, Jilian and all her new friends watched an advanced screening of a brand new episode to end their time together. “In all 13 years of her life, this is the pinnacle of happiness,” Amanda, Jilian’s mom recalled, “the trip from start to finish was absolutely amazing.”
Now on any given day, you can find Jilian home on her couch, once again watching her favorite show. “For so long we were devastated by the diagnosis, but finally we are on the other side of her illness, enjoying our girl who has had her happiness and joyfulness restored,” Amanda exclaimed. Having the incredible souvenirs and memories to chronicle her trip, Jilian continues to practice her drawings in hopes of growing up to be just like Rebecca Sugar.