This wish granted in 2019.
Grace was born with no medical complications, her parents saw a happy and healthy baby, no signs or symptoms. When she was 14 months old her parents began to have concerns when Grace only weighed 14 pounds. After further testing, doctors diagnosed Grace with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease affecting the lungs and digestive system. With cystic fibrosis, the body produces a thick and sticky mucus that can clog the lungs and can ultimately be life-threatening.
Though her medical condition has created challenges throughout her life, Grace remains positive and shares, “[cystic fibrosis] mainly affects your lungs because mucus can get trapped there, but it can also affect other organs like the liver or pancreas. You can get infections in your lungs and it makes it harder to breathe. But it doesn’t really seem weird to me because you grow up everyday with this and you get used to it as you go along… this is your normal. It almost seems like everyone else has to take pills before they eat or treatments every night, even though I know they don’t.”
Grace’s family sympathize with her as they’ve watched her grow up and embark on her medical journey. Grace must take pills before she is able to eat and treatments each night; her condition is one that demands attention each and every day. Her brother shares, “growing up, I’ve seen how much she has to do as I watch her treatments and see just how much medication she has to take. I feel bad for her and see how hard it’s been for her and our whole family.”
Grace’s medical journey has its challenges, but she never stops fighting. In 2018, Grace learned of her eligibility to receive a wish; after she immediately began to Google other experiences that Make-A-Wish® kids had chosen. As she saw more and more pictures of kids who had gone on trips to Hawaii, she knew that was what she wanted to do; more than anything, she wanted to zipline in Hawaii.
“Grace was able to choose three different activities that she wanted to do,” Grace’s mom remembers. “She told me that ziplining was what she was super excited about, but that was probably my least favorite thing to be excited about. But once we got there and we did it, I really had a wonderful time.”
Grace and her family had a wonderful time in Hawaii together and reflect on the fun they had, the quality time spent together and the amazing memories they made. During their trip, they swam with dolphins, experienced ziplining, went parasailing and enjoyed the beautiful beaches. Grace shares that her favorite memory from the trip was ziplining because she felt as though she were flying.
“It was great being there as a family,” Grace’s father reflects. “Just seeing Grace walking on the beach or sitting on the balcony overlooking the ocean - all her wishes coming true, such wonderful wishes granted to her, was incredible. We’re so grateful for the experience”
Wishes renew kids hope and give them the power to fight their critical illness. Grace and her family encourage everyone to donate today to give more kids like Grace a chance to spend time together with their families, make memories and have fun without worries.