It’s hard to feel like a princess when you’re fighting for your life. But when you fight and win?
Four-year-old O’Niyah endured years of hospital visits and treatments after her diagnosis of Acute Lymphoid Leukemia. Her health didn’t stop this princess-in-training from being a bright eyed, bubbly little girl with a mega-watt smile. She simply adores all things princess, especially dressing up like one. O’Niyah has always wanted to meet her idols and party in style, so it was not a surprise to her mom and dad when she picked a princess-themed birthday party for her wish.
With the help of national corporate sponsors, The Ritz-Carlton and Blue Bunny Ice Cream, O’Niyah was given a birthday party that could rival many weddings. Her elegant day started with a trip to the Ritz-Carlton Spa for a mani/pedi and mini-makeover with her mother. Then, retired to her special suite to prepare for the party and put on her beautiful white dress and tiara.
O’Niyah’s party became a celebration for her family and friends marking a new beginning with not only her birthday but her end of treatment. It was a total reset of her childhood coming back to her after a long road as she danced the afternoon away and played with the friends and relatives she had been restricted from for so long due to treatment.
Her party was filled with delicious food, a photo booth, games and even appearances from Princesses Tiana, Ariel and Cinderella. There was even a royal throne, where O’Niyah was showered with presents. She received everything from clothes to accessories and toys.
Now in remission, her mother Sierra recounts the wish process as a breath of fresh air. “Having to explain to a two-year-old why she could not go to the park and play with her friends was one of the hardest parts of O’Niyah’s cancer.” Her lively and energetic daughter just wanted to be a normal kid and play, but her treatments severely limited what she could do and even who she could be around during treatments. Sierra’s favorite part of O’Niyah’s wish was watching her daughter get an afternoon full of playing with her friends, dancing and delicious treats. “We will never forget the special moment when O’Niyah forgot about being sick and was able to celebrate like the princess she truly is,” said her mom, Sierra.