FRANKLIN, Wisc. – A young girl diagnosed with an extremely rare blood vessel disorder was given the opportunity to experience Disney World, the happiest place on Earth, thanks to a little guardian angel magic from Kids Wish Network.
Mikaela is a beautiful, artistic six-year-old girl who enjoys painting and drawing. This spunky and bright little girl enjoys collecting snow globes, seashells, feathers and marbles. When she’s not following her favorite Milwaukee Brewers during baseball season, she likes to watch Hannah Montana and her favorite movie, High School Musical. Mikaela loves her gym and art classes at her elementary school, but she has unfortunately had to miss a lot of school due to a mystery illness, which was finally diagnosed as Wegener’s Granulomatosis.
A disorder that causes destruction of Mikaela’s veins and arteries, Wegener’s Granulomatosis eventually causes damage to the kidneys, the lungs and other organs. After many doctor visits to investigate numerous sinus infections and her extreme lethargy, Mikaela still did not have a diagnosis. Then her right eye suddenly became swollen and began to protrude, which warranted a biopsy that revealed a large, benign tumor behind her eye. Blood tests and kidney biopsies were done, and finally, her diagnosis was made. She has taken steroids to restrict the growth of the tumor, and she must take medicine daily to prevent damage to her kidneys. She has vision problems and suffers often from viral infections. There is currently no cure for her condition.
Mikaela had dreamed of seeing Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom for a long time. Her grandmother nominated her for a wish from Kids Wish Network, a charitable organization that grants wishes to children suffering from life-threatening illnesses. On a very memorable day, Mikaela’s mother, Sarah, received a call from Mikaela’s wish coordinator, Jill.
“The day we got the phone call from Jill and found out about the wish, we were all in tears. We were so touched to know that something so good can come to Mikaela after all our family has been through in trying so hard to find answers for her. Everyone at Kids Wish Network was great,” said Sarah.
Mikaela got to see Cinderella’s castle and so much more, thanks to Jill, who had secured several sponsors to make this Florida theme park vacation extra special. Jill arranged for flights from the family’s home in wintry Wisconsin to the Disney Princesses’ sunny home in Orlando, Fla. The family enjoyed a relaxing four-night stay at the Royal Plaza Hotel, where Mikaela’s frequent interaction with one of the hotel’s staff spawned Mikaela’s interest in the famous Disney pins, of which she is now a collector.
“Right before dusk when we were on the The Barnstormer at Goofy’s Wiseacre Farm ride at Magic Kingdom, Mikaela got to see Cinderella’s Castle lit up with pink just as the sun set. It was a great to see her enjoying that moment.”
Mikaela loved every moment at Magic Kingdom. Her face lit up at the night parade and during the fireworks show that followed. She enjoyed meeting all the princesses, but the highlight of the trip was getting to walk through Cinderella’s Castle just before the parade, and walking down the big steps on the side. Another favorite memory was watching the dolphin show at Sea World.
As the family wrapped up their vacation, little Mikaela had tears running down her cheeks. Her mom said she didn’t want the fun to end. Since Mikaela has returned home to Wisconsin, she still wears the braids she got while at Sea World. The stylist said the braids would last for two weeks, and she intends to take advantage of every minute of this temporary souvenir.
Sarah said, “I just want to say thanks to Kids Wish Network because this was the best gift anyone could give us. It’s just so great to see your kids enjoying every minute of this special time. With all the appointments and trying to work them in with school and trying to get the best care for your child, this getaway was like being in an imaginary land. Mikaela and I describe as like being inside one of her snow globes.”
Kids Wish Network is happy to be able to bring this deserving little girl’s snow globes to life at Disney World.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Mikaela’s wish extra special: Royal Plaza Hotel, Compassion Partners, Pirates Dinner Adventure, WonderWorks, Taco Bell, Johnny Rocket’s and Carrabba’s Italian Grill (OSI Restaurant Partners, LLC).