Alexis is from Ronkonkoma, N.Y. and had her wish granted in 2005 to visit World Disney World Resort. Here, she writes her story.
On May 4, 2003 my whole life changed. I went from being a normal healthy eight-year-old to an eight-year-old who had been diagnosed with Leukemia. Within the two years I was treated, I went through many rounds of chemotherapy, spinal taps, two surgeries and six weeks of radiation at Stony Brook University Hospital. On top of that, I watched my Nana pass away from breast cancer in August of 2003. To say the least, 2003 was not the best year for my mom, my sister and me; but when Make-A-Wish stepped in, there seemed like there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
When my wish granters first started coming to my house, I was completely set on meeting Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. I was a huge fan of them at the time. As the days went on I realized that I wanted to do something my whole family could enjoy, so instead I chose to go to Walt Disney World. On October 28, 2005, six months after I had been deemed cancer free, my wish was granted.
That trip was one that I will never forget. As a wish child in Disney World, you want for nothing. I remember my sister and I being asked to pose for pictures with characters when they saw us wearing our Make-A-Wish t-shirts, eating ice cream for breakfast at Give Kids the World Village, getting countless souvenirs and of course skipping all the lines for the rides. The most memorable part of the trip for me, however, was the fact that nobody worried during it. My mom did not have to worry about giving me my medication, my sister could enjoy being a normal seven-year-old and my mom’s boyfriend at the time, now my step-father, was able to enjoy his first trip with his new family. My trip to Disney World was truly a celebration after a few hard years.
Now that I am 20 years old, I am ready to give back to the organization that gave so much to my family. With that said, I am very proud to say that I am now doing an internship with Make-A-Wish Suffolk County, NY and I could not be happier. Being diagnosed with cancer turns your life into a puzzle that was complete, but had just been knocked off a table. With the help of my family, friends and doctors, my puzzle was put back together, but it was the people at Make-A-Wish that secured the final piece.