Ever since she was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was just six months old, Lily’s parents have been watching over her closely.
Over the years, she has become symptomatic, including losing her vision. When her latest MRI showed a lot more growth, with tumors spread throughout her left temporal lobe, surgery - as desired by doctors - looked to be extremely difficult and dangerous. On November 10th, Lily had a doctor’s appointment that would be the deciding factor to go ahead with surgery. They decided to move forward, and stated that chemotherapy may be necessary afterward. This was a scary road for an 8-year- old to find herself in, and Lily’s parents desperately needed a silver lining in the cloudy vision of what Lily’s future would bring.
Mom and Dad thought Lily could use something to pick up her sinking spirits and having heard about Make-A-Wish from other friends and family she decided to submit her information to the referral process. A few weeks later Lily was approved, and she already knew what she wanted. She had always wanted to go to Hawaii, telling her mom, “I want to go there because the water is warm and beautiful, and I want to swim with the dolphins.” That, combined with her love of kayaking and swimming, made Hawaii the perfect wish for her.
In April of 2017, Lily, her sister Piper and her parents were headed on the trip of a lifetime. Lily had amazing adventures on her wish – learning how to surf, zip lining through the mountains of Oahu and having her dream come true to swim with the dolphins.
Providing experiences like these to families that have been through so much already is what Make-A-Wish is all about. It is the hope that there is the possibility of a brighter future. It is the strength to continue fighting. It is the pure joy these wish experiences bring to young children battling something way beyond their years. Lily’s brave and adventurous attitude allowed her to get the most out of her wish. Although her trip did not physically diminish the tumors, it provided the power and strength to overcome anything that stands in Lily’s way in her years to come.