Sasha was born with sickle cell disease, a disease in which the red blood cells created in the bone marrow are crescent shaped and have a difficult time passing through the body’s blood vessels to reach the body’s tissues. Those suffering with this disease experience severe episodes of pain and eventual organ damage; they are also at high risk for stroke and cardiac arrest. Sasha endures extremely serious pain episodes and is on pain medications. She has been in and out of the hospital most of her young life.
“It was definitely a dream come true,” says Valerie, Sasha’s mother. “Sasha had a countdown to when she was going, she was that excited!”
Sasha and her family visited Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Epcot Center. Everywhere she went, Sasha was given “the royal treatment” and her smile could not have been any wider. She was in awe of the famous Disney fireworks and parades and was thrilled with the excitement of the rides. Sasha even got the chance to visit Busch Gardens in Tampa, where she really got a kick out of the treehouse in the “Land of the Dragons.”
“It was so great! Everybody was nice…anything we needed, they gave us!” According to her mother, Sasha was surprised even at the hotel with a present waiting for her: a Piglet stuffed animal of her very own!