What Sandi’s Wish Meant to our Family
My daughter Sandi was born with a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis. Unfortunately, she suffers from the life-threatening version. Since birth, Sandi has a physical and cognitive delay (like a 6-year-old although Sandi is 27 years old now). Sandi never grew taller than 4’2″ and she weighs 70 lbs. She had her first brain tumor removal when she was 7 years old. Of course I cried when the doctors told me the risk of surgery was death due to the place of the tumor and the general risk of surgery. Sandi was very brave and made it through this surgery. Many more were to come. In the midst of this sadness, stress, worry, strain on Sandi, her sisters and our family in general, the Make-A-Wish Foundation contacted me to say, “We want to make Sandi the happiest little girl in the world.”
The Foundation entered our lives and Sandi came back to life. Sandi had been through so much. She even had a special diet that did not allow her to eat cheese so her first wish was for “macaroni and cheese.” Of course, her wish granter (who was also named Sandi) said that they wanted her to have even more than that. Sandi was very excited to say she wanted a trip to Walt Disney World.
Sandi smiled for the first time in a long time when given the opportunity to choose something so fun.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation surprised my family when they allowed Sandi, her two sisters, her grandmother, my husband and myself to be treated to a Disney trip of a lifetime! Limousine pick up and drop off, flying all of us to Orlando where we stayed at a beautiful villa with many childlike amenities (including eating at a gingerbread house which Sandi and her sisters LOVED). Plus we were given a rental van to travel freely to all the parks and shopping that Sandi desired.
Sandi was excited and happy. She had not been this “alive” in more than 6 months. I remember using an entire roll of film the first dinner/show out. As I looked around at the entire family having fun together, I felt an infusion of hope and joy reminding me we could still find happiness in life. The trip was awesome and Sandi enjoyed every moment of her wish. To this day she looks at the photo album and stills refers to herself as “the Make-A-Wish girl”
The wish was powerful and magical. I truly believe the experience brought Sandi back to life. Due to her illness, she could not find joy in life until her wish. After her wish our entire family, especially Sandi, began life with a renewed hope and joyful spirit. I thank God for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the miracle they gave to our family.
Make-A-Wish Volunteer and Wish Mom