CHICAGO RIDGE, Ill. (Nov. 20, 2014): Although 6-year-old Aly Watt had to be slathered in sunscreen as a precaution due to her life-threatening illness, she was still beyond excited to meet her favorite Disney characters. Wish Kid Aly finally got to meet Princess Ariel and Dora the Explorer on her magical wish trip granted by children’s charity Kids Wish Network.
But Aly’s life leading up to her wish trip had been filled with more struggles than magic.
“Aly is braver than anyone I know,” says mom Jennifer Watt. “She endures stuff most grown-ups couldn’t, and we thank Kids Wish Network for making her dream come true.”
Aly was diagnosed with a dangerous and extremely rare, life-threatening condition called juvenile dermatomyositis in October 2011. The condition is a presumed autoimmune dysfunction that results in muscle weakness among other complications.
When Aly’s symptoms first appeared, doctors couldn’t diagnose the cause right away. She spent months deteriorating, awaiting an answer. It wasn’t until she developed a facial rash that her illness was determined. Doctors immediately began treatment with an extremely high dose of oral and intravenous steroids and weekly blood-product infusions.
The medication took a toll on Aly, stunting her growth and causing mood swings, but did eventually help her condition enough to allow Aly an enjoyable wish trip.
Kids Wish Network sent Aly and her family on an all-inclusive wish to visit Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. The family stayed at fabulous accommodations, dined at exciting restaurants and enjoyed all the parks had to offer. The highlight of Aly’s trip was meeting some of her favorite characters.
“Aly loved meeting Dora the Explorer,” says Jennifer. “But her mouth absolutely dropped when she met Princess Ariel. We had truly an amazing time on her wish.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank all the generous sponsors that helped grant Aly’s wish: Royale Parc Suites, WonderWorks, Compassion Partners Program, Chili’s Grill and Bar, Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill, and Bahama Breeze.
Kids Wish Network is a national charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations. Come experience the Kids Wish Network difference at www.kidswishnetwork.org.