Seventeen-year-old Makahla has always dreamed of hopping the pond to visit the historical beauties of London, England. “I’ve always been fond of England. I’ve played soccer since I was four and London is where the game [English football] was founded,” Makahla said. After being diagnosed with ovarian cancer as a junior in high school, Makahla was referred to Make-A-Wish and her previously far-fetched dream became a reality. Thanks to Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia and sponsor Jewelers for Children, Makahla got to celebrate the end of her treatment with a trip of a lifetime.
After saying “cherrio” to the states, Makahla and her family took flight, landing at London Heathrow airport. They were welcomed to the Premier Inn Waterloo, a hotel perfectly placed for exploring the capital’s charm. Located near The Southbank and River Thames, Makahla and her family had the opportunity to walk along the bank to see the London Eye, browse the National Theatre and Royal Festival Hall and catch a glimpse of Big Ben at the Houses of Parliament. For Makahla, there was never enough time on London’s iconic clock to explore everything the city had in store.
While in England, Makahla and her family also visited the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge, enjoying a mystical morning at the ancient stones. This tour, rich in history, legends and mysteries, allowed Makahla and her family to step into the enchantments of rural England. Though, Makahla’s favorite part of her trip was visiting Cambridge where she rode a punt down the River Cam. “It was so pretty and relaxing,” Makahla said, admiring all of the historical landmarks she passed along the way, such as the Bridge of Sighs and King’s College Chapel. Among her other adventures, Makahla visited Bournemouth, a lively seaside town featuring the beautiful Swange Peir and Durdle Door. Here, Makahla found the perfect photo opportunity and even captured some of her senior portraits.
“Someone once told me the best way to discover London is to get lost, and that is exactly what my sister and I did.” Makahla said, “Along the way, we discovered cute cafes, restaurants and the sweetest people.” For Makahla, her London trip was definitely a dream to get lost in. “I always knew about Make-A-Wish growing up,” Makahla said, never imagining she would one day be on the receiving end. “By having my wish granted, it was a new adventure and a celebration of being done with treatment…the perfect way to take my mind off everything.”