Sparkly-eyed Kate is exactly like her favorite Disney Princess, Merida. In the movie Brave, Princess Merida is known for her determination, love for animals, beaming personality, and adventure-seeking attitude. Five-year-old Kate mirrors Princess Merida in all of those attributes. When Make-A-Wish contacted Kate and asked her if she could have any wish in the world, what it would be, Kate quickly responded with, “I wish to go to Disney World.”
Kate was diagnosed with lymphoma five days after she turned five-years-old, rattling her family into shock. Her mother Cindy remembers the afternoon all too well: “I couldn’t stop crying, nor did I take in half of what the doctor had told us that day! All I heard was, ‘have a great weekend because she will go into the hospital Monday morning to start her chemo.’” Her mother knew that Kate, just like her favorite princess Merida, was brave.
When it was time for Kate’s wish to be granted, she and her family headed to Orlando, Florida, for some fun in the sun while exploring Sea World, Universal, and Disney World. Before arriving in Orlando, Kate had never been on a roller coaster, so her parents were unsure of how she would react to one. They were absolutely surprised to find out she LOVED them! Kate and her brother would ride the roller coasters over and over again, helping create so many magical moments between the two of them.
Kate also loved meeting all the characters that both Disney World and Universal were able to introduce to her, but one character in particular stood out above the rest. While exploring the Magic Kingdom in Disney World, Kate and her family strolled upon Merida’s Castle. The family walked up to the castle right before they were about to take a break and one of the attendants noticed Kate’s button. He asked the family if they would mind waiting to the side for just a little bit, while they finished the current meet-and-greet session. Ten minutes later the attendant walked them into the closed castle, where Princess Merida was anxiously awaiting Kate and her family. Merida spent about twenty minutes with Kate and her brother - teaching them to shoot bows and arrows, dancing, and posing for many pictures. The Disney Cast Members went above and beyond to make Kate feel like she was actually in Merida’s castle in Scotland! The family agreed that this was one of the best parts of the trip.The family is so thankful for the blessing Make-A-Wish gave them. Cindy said that the best part of the family’s trip to Disney World was being able to see the real Kate again. “She had not been herself in a very long time. In fact, in pictures she had lost the sparkle in her eyes,” Cindy recalled. The family agrees that Kate’s wish was one of the best things to ever happen to her. Her attitude towards treatment was affected in a very positive way, and Kate said she will forever be grateful for this blessing.
After dancing with Merida, Kate remembered how to keep the sparkle in her eyes. The memories she made while on her trip are memories she will never forget. The sparkle in Kate’s eyes shines so bright thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and all those who contribute to the organization! These people help to ensure that, just like Kate, children never lose the sparkle in their eyes.