The most beloved Disney® princess once said, "A dream is a wish your heart makes." Six-year-old Aoloni has held on to those words from her favorite princess, Cinderella, helping her to get through the most challenging times. When she was 3 years old, Aoloni was diagnosed with Leukemia and for years following that diagnosis, she spent most of her days in and out of the hospital. Her mother Crystal says her young daughter had to undergo multiple rounds of chemotherapy. "It was so hard watching her go through it and not being able to help her." Through it all, though, Crystal says Aoloni remained a fighter, and never lost her bright smile. "She was a light to all of those around her; the nurses, the doctors, everyone."
Aoloni didn't have control over her medical treatment and wasn't able to make many of the choices other young girls get to make. That was until Make-A-Wish® came into her life and empowered her to choose her most heartfelt wish. Following the words of Cinderella herself, Aoloni closed her eyes and wished from the bottom of her heart for a home away from home; a safe haven where she could feel comfortable and feel like royalty. It wasn't long before her wish was granted and a new princess playhouse was delivered right to her backyard!
Crystal says upon seeing her new playhouse, Aoloni's eyes lit up with excitement and she wasted no time venturing inside. "She ran right in and made sure to inspect every detail, ringing the doorbell and even climbing up to the loft area," Crystal recalls joyfully. As enhancements to her wish, Aoloni's wish granters brought her favorite baked goods and a new tea set, so the little girl could have her first tea party with her family and friends. "The entire experience was just a wonderful thing and I believe it truly added to her healing," Crystal says. "I think she looked forward to this wish coming true and it lifted up her spirits in a time when she needed it most."
Aoloni now spends hours in her playhouse and her mom says it's her first thought each morning when she wakes up. "To see her smile is the best feeling ever!" Her mom reports that Aoloni likes to dress up as a princess in her sparkly dresses and host parties, inviting the neighbors over to play. She says for a little girl who has endured so much, the magic Make-A-Wish has brought to her life is priceless. "Thank you Make-A-Wish for all that you've done to brighten our days!" To add to the happiness, Crystal is proud to report that her young daughter is now one-year cancer free!
Wish-granting volunteers: Charity Dollinger & Sharon Erway
Wish story writer: Kate McGowan