When their daughter Arden was just 5-years-old, Tracy and Ryan heard the words no parents ever wants to hear: “Your child has cancer.” Growing up just a few minutes away from Rehoboth Beach in Delaware, Arden has always loved spending time in the water and on the boardwalk. As soon as she found out that she would be receiving a wish from Make-A-Wish®
Philadelphia, Delaware & Susquehanna Valley, Arden knew she wanted a tropical vacation with her family full of water activities.
After much thought, Arden decided on the perfect wish for her: a trip to Disney’s Aulani Resort. She is captivated with Disney princesses, especially mermaid Ariel due to her love of water. Plus, Arden has an aunt and cousin that live in Hawaii that she had never met before. A wish to Disney’s Aulani Resort was a win-win-win for Arden since it combined so many of her favorite things!
“From the first moment [of the wish trip] everything was perfect,” Arden’s mother shared. The family got picked up in a giant limo bus and were surprised to find that American Airlines threw a party at the gate for Arden. They had breakfast, leis, music and other treats. “It was so wonderful…and we were still at the airport!”
When the family arrived in Hawaii, they were greeted by a beautiful rainbow. Arden’s mother exclaimed, “It was magic from the minute we got there.” Arden loved the pools, snorkeling, the beach and meeting the Disney characters at Aulani. The family also had the chance to leave the resort a few times to explore the island of Oahu, including going fishing, hiking to a waterfall and taking surfing lessons.
The icing on the cake for Arden was being able to meet her aunt and cousin for the first time. Her cousin, Quinn, is an active-duty Marine stationed in Hawaii so the timing of the wish trip was absolutely perfect for the whole family to get together.
Arden’s family wrote the sweetest thank you note upon their arrival back home. It said, “The whole trip was filled with fun and sunshine, family and happiness. I have no doubt that these memories will replace the trauma that [Arden] has been through at such a young age. When she looks back and thinks of cancer, I know she will also think of Hawaii and the joy and memories that we made together. The only negative was having to leave paradise! Our family cannot thank Make-A-Wish®
enough! We are forever grateful! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”