Faced with an illness that significantly shortens life expectancy, what would you do? The distress as adults is hard, having lived through so many experiences you don’t want to lose. But imagine not even reaching the age of ten and facing open heart surgeries and other intensive treatments to allow yourself to do normal activities.
Abby and her family face this reality every day. Abby's heart was formed with a defect, and she wasn't supposed to make it days let alone years. Living with a heart disease that prevents Abby to indulge in the normalcy other seven-year-olds get to do is hard but that doesn’t stop her from sporting a smile.
Especially once she begins talking about her wish! Abby’s passionate wish to visit New York City all began in her 2nd-grade studies class at school. They learned about the Statue of Liberty, and she wanted to go see it in person. Her wish had clear guides: to stay in a New York hotel with her family, visit the Statue of Liberty, go to a Broadway show, and see Central Park.
THE BIG APPLE MEETS ABBY
Bright and sunny New York City welcomed Abby and her family. With an itinerary that included a Broadway tour plus a viewing of the Lion King, a day at the Central Park Zoo, to finally visiting the Statue of Liberty – Abby and her family could leave the city with memories to last forever.
Her mom sees Abby as a kind soul and isn't one to look for attention like her older siblings. Our work at Make-A-Wish Georgia hopes to bring attention back to children like Abby, who are resilient in the face of their illness. Abby's parents wrote a letter after the experience, "“Words cannot express my gratitude. I sat and cried through the first portion of Lion King just overwhelmed with gratitude that my child is alive and thriving-and that she got to experience this!”
We are passionately granting wishes like Abby’s wish all year long, for many many many years! It’s contagious smiles like hers that make all the work mean everything in the world.