After an unexpected conversation with her attending nurse and loving support from her family, 14-year-old Amanda
allowed herself to simply wish
. It was in the midst of winter chill that Amanda first heard her wish would be granted. She would escape the cold and travel out of the country, for the first time ever, to her chosen destination in the Dominican Republic. An overwhelming feeling of collective relief surged through both Amanda and her family. Feeling warmer already, Amanda, along with her parents and older sister, left their troubles on the ground and set out to embark on a long overdue vacation filled with clear skies and even clearer ocean water.
The long days in the Dominican Republic were spent swimming, horseback riding along the shore, and spending time with loved ones. For Amanda, some of her most memorable moments came from walking the beach each morning, just as the sun was rising. She reflects, “I had a moment to myself, where I could smile and be happy and actually mean it. That view from the beach was the world in my eyes.”
Amanda and her family returned home, closer than ever and each harnessing enough warmth in their hearts to combat any cold outside or pain from within. For protective, caring, sister Ashley, this experience provided “a little piece of pure happiness, a little piece of heaven.” Agreeing with her sister, Amanda shares, “Make-A-Wish changed my family, my mindset and my heart. Make-A-Wish changed my life.
” Her wish also opened her up to travel and Amanda plans to one day experience a new place and a new culture, just as she did in the Dominican Republic.
Though her trip is over, Amanda’s memories remain bright and vivid serving as a constant reminder of the recurrent gift of her wish and the magic that follows when you give yourself the permission to dream.
Wish Story Writer: Courtney Seck
Wish Granters: Lisa Hamilton and Christina Holt