This wish granted in 2015.
Aubrey was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition called Linear Scleroderma at 6 years old. The journey to her diagnosis was not an easy one; her family saw serveral doctors and specialists. Through perseverance, Aubrey was finally diagnosed, and her family was informed of the severity of her condition. With that, their lives were completed changed forever.
“Her skin was hardening and she couldn’t bend her ankles,” Aubrey’s mom, Tia, explains. “This disease typically affects a small area or one side of a person, but hers was affecting the majority of her body and spreading rapidly.”
Due to the severity of her condition, Aubrey was prescribed aggressive medication immediately. One of the doctors treating Aubrey referred her to Make-A-Wish® Iowa. Her parents never thought their daughter would experience a wish, but were surprised and excited when they found out Aubrey was going to have one granted.
The wish process began at the perfect time. Her disease was progressing quickly, and she was dealing with weight gain and side effects from medication, hours of traveling in the car for appointments, and endless needle pokes and IV treatments. An escape to relax and recharge was what Aubrey needed to regain her strength to keep fighting.
As parents, we were finding ourselves frustrated, overwhelmed, scared, and exhausted and [her wish] was a new excitement that we could never give her.
“As parents, we were finding ourselves frustrated, overwhelmed, scared, and exhausted and [her wish] was a new excitement that we could never give her,” Tia remembered. “She received a packet from her wish granters that had pages of ideas to think about for a wish. She colored pictures of different ideas and her main wish was to go to Walt Disney World® Resort.”
When preparing for Aubrey's wish, her family remembers feeling no stress, as every single thing was thought out and was taken care of for them. For Aubrey, the trip became something to look forward to. Her wish granters came over right before her trip and brought goodies for her and her little sister as well. They went through all the details of the wish and answered all of the family’s questions.
“Our trip was amazing. There were so many things to do, we couldn’t even do it all. We stayed at the Give Kids the World Village, which was an amazing experience within itself,” Tia says. “There were many fun activities, awesome food and treats, and special passes to get to the front of the lines at the parks.”
In addition to visiting Walt Disney World® Resort, Aubrey also dreamed of visiting Hope and Winter, the dolphins at Clearwater marine aquarium from the movie Dolphin Tale. Make-A-Wish Iowa was able to add a photo with the dolphins as a special treat for one of the days on her trip, a moment which she will remember forever.
It gave us a nice break from everything at just the right time. This was made possible by donations and volunteers, and it opened our eyes to how important Make-A-Wish is.
“After we came back from our trip, we were finally starting to see improvements in Aubrey. We were able to start spreading out appointments and weaning down medications,” explains Tia. “It gave us a nice break from everything at just the right time. This was made possible by donations and volunteers, and it opened our eyes to how important Make-A-Wish is. It gives children and their families a break from everything. It is something we will always be thankful for.”