Cypress, TX – A seven-year-old diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia has all of her Disney dreams come true with Kids Wish Network.
Bathed in the glow generated by more than 200,000 twinkling lights, Elise made her way through the shimmering castle toward her dinner date with Cinderella; this seven-year-old’s dream was more than granted and it had not even started yet!
In August of 2004, Elise was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. This is a disease in which too many underdeveloped infection-fighting white blood cells, called lymphocytes, are found in a child’s blood and bone marrow. These undersized cells then crowd out the normal cells in the bone marrow and spread to other organs, causing much damage. ALL is the most common form of leukemia in children, and the most common kind of childhood cancer. Elise has been in and out of hospitals most of her young life. She has suffered through two bone marrow transplants and multiple chemotherapy treatments. Elise has relapsed more than once and still continues to fight. Every week she endures extensive blood testing to make sure she is not in need of an immediate transfusion. Elise is currently attending homebound school and is on a daily medication regimen that includes IV antibiotics.
During one of Elise’s many hospital stays, a social worker at the Texas Children’s Hospital mentioned Kids Wish Network to Elise’s mother, Bethany. When she learned of the organization’s goal to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses, she knew immediately that this was something special to give to her brave little girl. After contacting Kids Wish Network, her daughter was quickly assigned to Wish Coordinator, Jill, who found out that all this little princess wanted was to meet her favorite princesses at Walt Disney World. Jill went above and beyond in planning out Elise’s grand Disney adventure, including dinner at the Pirates Dinner Adventure, a stay at the Regal Sun Resort and, of course, tickets to every theme park Elise could have ever wanted to go to.
“I can’t say how much fun we had,” said Elise’s mother, Bethany. “It was a whole different world” for Elise and her family. The Disney parks were covered with all sorts of holiday magic and “Elise had a blast!” She and her family visited every Disney park and met up with every Disney princess they could find. They even had dinner and lunch with Cinderella and all of her friends! They did everything that Elise wanted to do and often, she wanted nothing more than to ride on rides with her beloved older brother, Michael. Some of Elise’s absolute favorite rides ending up being the Toy Story arcade rides, Peter Pan’s Flight and Snow White’s Scary Adventures ride.
“For us to get the opportunity to do this was like icing on the cake,” said Bethany. “It was a great experience for her [Elise] and it was really good that we got to go when we did.” About Elise’s “great” Wish Coordinator, Jill, Bethany couldn’t have been more pleased. In fact, Jill set everything up so well that Bethany found it “really nice to have everything done for us,” with no hassle and fuss. It was truly a dream come true for Elise and her family. According to Bethany, “We are so appreciative of everything you all did for our family.” It was truly a pleasure for the “Guardian Angels” at Kids Wish Network to grant Elise’s Disney wish.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Elise’s wish extra special: The Regal Sun Resort, Compassion Partners, Pirates Dinner Adventure, the Wall Street Cantina, Romano’s Macaroni Grill and Dollar Rent-A-Car.