This wish granted in 2018.
Shortly after Aria was born, she began to experience severe asthma episodes, often turning black and blue due to low oxygen levels in the middle of the night. A year later, doctors discovered a sizable tumor in her kidney and referred her to St. Jude’s Children Hospital where she began cancer treatments.
During her time at St. Jude’s, Aria was referred to Make-A-Wish Iowa, and it didn’t take her long to decide on her wish: a trip to meet Ariel at Walt Disney World Resorts.
“We felt so overwhelmed knowing we would be able to take the whole family on a trip,” remembers Aria’s mother, “Due to the nature of her health, it was such a nice chance to get away.”
Aria was able to celebrate her 4th birthday during their trip and experience the perfect day for a princess. She began the day by visiting Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for the ultimate makeover to look like Ariel.
After her makeover she insisted that we call her Ariel. So, for the rest of the day, we had to call her Princess Ariel.
Her mother fondly shares memories from that day as she recalls, “after her makeover she insisted that we call her Ariel. So, for the rest of the day, we had to call her Princess Ariel.”
During her special day, she also got to meet Ariel and take pictures with the mermaid. During their trip, Aria and her family enjoyed time together on the beaches, riding the rides, visiting Universal Studios and experiencing other attractions. Aria shares that her favorite part of the trip was meeting Ariel. As they look back on their trip and the amazing experience they had together, her mother explains the significant impact Aria’s wish had on her and her family.
To be able to escape reality was huge and to be able to enjoy each other and just enjoy life was such a blessing.
“Prior to her getting cancer, [Aria’s] sister passed away, and so we all really needed some time to take for ourselves, to just be able to get away from reality and enjoy time together.” Her mom explains. “It was a huge blessing because we had been through so much in that one year… with her sister’s passing and her cancer. To be able to escape reality was huge and to be able to enjoy each other and just enjoy life was such a blessing. I would like to say thank you to the Make-A-Wish® Iowa family, for giving us the opportunity to do everything. It means a lot”
Aria’s family would like to share the exciting news that Aria continues to be cancer free; they hope others will support Make-A-Wish and personally experience the hope that each wish creates for a child battling life-threatening illnesses.