If you need to know one thing about six-year-old Jenny, it’s that she gives her all in everything. She has a charming, adventurous spirit, loves to play outside and is always busy on another pursuit for fun.
Her enthusiastic attitude carries through in Jenny’s schooling – she’s a hard worker that has to dedicate extra time and energy to her education. Because Jenny has an immune system disorder and brain damage detected during her early childhood, it takes her a little longer to learn and absorb information. Jenny also has to take lots of medication and therapy classes to keep her caught up in school. This little girl embodies “work hard, play hard”: staying focused when it’s time to work, and relishing the time she has to play and be a kid.
When Jenny learned about her chance to participate in Make-A-Wish®, she wished to go on an adventure! The beach sounded like the perfect spot, and since her cousins had recently been to Hawaii, it was the first name that popped into her head. The whole family became more and more excited as their trip plans were set in motion and the departure date drew near.
As always, Jenny made the most of every moment in Hawaii – she even loved the long flight there! Her mother, Jo, recalled how Jenny kept the family going the entire time, one adventure after the next. “She was a trooper, she played hard,” Jo said. Some of Jenny’s favorite activities in Hawaii were snorkeling and zip-lining. Her mother said she spent hours looking underwater, popping up every few seconds and exclaiming “I see fish!”. The whole family went zip-lining on the highest line in Hawaii, and explored several of the state’s most beautiful beaches throughout the week. Jenny also got her ears pierced as a memento of her wish, a concrete way she could always remember their time in Hawaii.
All adventures aside, the best part for Jenny was knowing that she was the special reason her family got to have this amazing trip to Hawaii. She got to be the star, and she was able to give this tremendous gift back to her family who had always loved her unconditionally just as she was. Jenny also saw the trip as a treat for herself because she was such a hard worker at home. The whole family felt extremely grateful for the experience, Jo tells us. “Jenny was already such a gift to our family, so this just felt like an extra gift. We were all really thankful for it.”
The family returned home, making sure to thank Jenny for the wonderful trip they had all shared together. Medically, Jenny is stable and her disorder is under control, but she will always be on medication and will have to work harder in school than most kids her age. When things get tough, Jenny remembers how rewarding being a hard worker is, evident in her family’s trip to Hawaii. Having her wish come true created a truly lasting impact on Jenny by showing her what diligence, strength and love can make possible. “Jenny definitely saw the trip as a treat for all her hard work,” Jo said, “but it was also just a beautiful memory for the whole family. It was everything we hoped for and more.”