From the moment volunteer wish granters Ted and Dar met wish kid Natiya, they were in awe of her compassionate and charismatic personality. Natiya, affectionately called “Tiya” by friends and family, loves everything about princesses, the color purple and spending time with her brother. With such a bright personality, it is difficult to believe she is undergoing treatment for leukemia. While spending long hours in treatments at the hospital, Tiya finds comfort in playing with her favorite dolls and stuffed animals. After asking what her one-true-wish would be, Ted and Dar were not surprised to hear she wanted to have a shopping spree to get all the toys her heart desired!
Ted and Dar teamed up with National Make-A-Wish partners Toys”R”Us and Dave and Buster’s to make Tiya’s wish day one she would never forget. While Tiya and her family were getting picked up in their “Party Bus” (as Tiya described it), her wish granters were busy making the day extra-special. They arrived at Toys”R”Us early to decorate her shopping cart with her favorite colored streamers, princess posters and a balloon. Once the guest of honor arrived, Ted and Dar ran outside to greet her. They were giddy to share the exciting news that she would have a private shopping experience before the opening of the store to the general public! Tiya took full advantage of this wonderful and rare opportunity as she raced up and down the aisles filling her cart with all of her favorite things. While picking out her new toys, Tiya squealed with excitement when she ran into the store’s mascot: Geoffrey the Giraffe! Of course she took a break from all the shopping to pose for a picture! Before they headed to their next destination, Tiya had one final, selfless request: that her brother could pick out something for himself.
The next stop of the day was at Sealife Aquarium where they were able to get up close to fish, turtles, and lots of other amazing sea creatures! While there, Tiya received a stamp book and was told if she found all the stamps, she would win a special prize. With the help of her family and wish granters, Tiya searched for each animal and filled all the stamps. Her prize? A beautiful turtle necklace she proudly wore around her neck for the rest of the day.
Following the morning’s excitement, Tiya and her family had worked up quite an appetite and headed to Dave and Buster’s for a delicious lunch. They enjoyed all of Tiya’s favorite dishes before continuing the fun in the unique game room. Before the day was over, Ted and Dar had planned one more special surprise: a visit from Tiya’s favorite princess! While coloring in her new coloring book, Tiya told the princess all about her special day and all the wonderful things she bought on her shopping spree.
Tiya’s family was so thankful to all of the volunteers and employees who helped create such an unforgettable day. After the wish, Tiya’s mom told Ted and Dar, “We had an awesome time and we appreciate Make-A-Wish more than I have words to express!” Ted and Dar echoed her sentiments and proclaimed what a wonderful day it was for everyone!