A Quinceañera is a very special occasion for a teenage girl and Lorena had always had big plans for hers. However, something unexpected happened that changed everything and dashed her plans: Lorena was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
Lorena was born with microtia, a congenital defect in which the outer ear is underdeveloped. For this condition, Lorena underwent seven ear reconstruction surgeries. During her visits and check-ups back and forth with her doctors, it was discovered that Lorena also suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, a disease that causes severe inflammation of the body’s joints, tissues and organs; her doctors thought that it may have been triggered by the extensive surgeries. Lorena takes numerous medications, endures bi-monthly blood tests and attends physical therapy sessions. Her condition has severely limited her level of physical activity and she is no longer able to participate in everything that she wants to.
When Lorena was asked by a Kids Wish Network Wish Coordinator what she wanted for her wish, she asked if she could have the wonderful Quinceañera party that she was unable to enjoy due to her illness.
Lorena’s Wish Coordinator reached out to businesses in the West Chicago area to see who would be able to help make Lorena’s party as spectacular as it was in her dreams, and many were honored to help. In addition to a hall donated by Gaslite Manor; Lorena was given a Quinceañera gown and a fabulous photoshoot by Alyce Paris; bouquets from Flower Basket; a limousine ride from Flag Limo; a tiara, flowers and photo album by Quinceañera Boutique; a DJ, photographer and fun photo booth by Studio 3 Productions; and invitations from Invitations by David’s Bridal.
According to Penny Gilbert of Alyce Paris in Morton Grove, Lorena truly enjoyed every aspect of her Quinceañera. She danced with her family and friends to the sounds of a DJ and a wonderful mariachi band, enjoyed the photo booth with her girl friends and beamed through all the ceremonies, including the traditional changing of the shoes and the ceremonial toast. Although her condition usually wears her out after even the slightest exertion, the joy of her Quinceañera party carried Lorena through any physical pain she felt.
“She looked like such a princess,” said Penny. “It was really beautiful and it looked like she was having a blast. She was so happy and she looked so beautiful. Everybody was having a great time. It made me really happy to see her shine and it was worth so much more than money to make Lorena’s dream come true; it was the best day that I’ve had in the seven years I’ve been at my job.”
Since her Quinceanera wish, Lorena has been in and out of the hospital with complications from her condition. She says that whenever she feels sad, she looks at pictures of her wish to help her cheer up.
“I just want to thank you for making my wish come true,” says Lorena. “Sometimes, it’s hard for me, but all the support from all you guys and and every little special surprise makes my day a brighter day. I’m really thankful!”
Wish Type: Commodity