Diagnosed with intractable epilepsy, it’s hard for 14-year-old Melissa to be the care-free kid that she should be. That is why Melissa decided that her perfect wish would be a trip to the happiest place on earth, Walt Disney World®. The excitement began the moment Melissa boarded the place, where she was able to meet the pilot, and it only continued throughout her trip.
Once they landed in Orlando, FL, Melissa and her family headed to Give Kids the World Village, a magical place where kids just like Melissa stay while visiting Disney. In the village, Melissa ate meals in a gingerbread house, went to the 24-hour ice cream parlor anytime she wanted, swam in two beautiful pools and rode the carrousel every day. She also had her very own star placed on the ceiling of the castle, where it will remain forever. Melissa was overwhelmed with the fun and kindness she experienced at the village.
As much as Melissa loved the village, it was time to hit the parks. She visited the Magic Kingdom® (twice), Disney’s Animal Kingdom®, Universal Studios and SeaWorld. Melissa and her family received a “fast pass” for the parks and special seats at the shows because they wore their Make-A-Wish® t-shirts. When Melissa met the Disney Princesses, she asked them to autograph one of the shirts, which she plans to frame and treasure forever. Melissa met Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and her mother told them with tears in her eyes, “Disney is a place that we always wanted to take Melissa but we never thought we would ever get here.”
Melissa could not have had a better wish experience. She made “thank you” signs and took pictures in front of Cinderella’s castle. Before leaving, Melissa signed it and gave it to the staff at Give Kids the World so they could hang it on their bulletin board for all of the staff and volunteers, who helped to make her trip so wonderful. Melissa will never forget how special she felt while on her wish, and she will hold onto that feeling for years to come. As Mickey always says, “Dreams really do come true!”