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Wishing Well Blog

Oct 11, 2017

From Hospital Beds to Football Fields: A’Niah’s Inspiring Wish Journey

A'Niah Header
So, when A'Niah was first admitted to the local hospital, I thought she just had a severe stomach bug. She was walking and talking when we got to the hospital. Within hours she was no longer responsive and was being flown to Hershey Medical Center. Within minutes of arriving at the hospital, A'Niah began to seize, which led her going into cardiac arrest for 38 minutes. The doctors said they had never given anyone CPR for that long. She was not expected to live through the night.
A'Niah during treatmentShe ended up having a collapsed lung, a brain bleed and vitreous hemorrhages in both eyes, which left her temporarily blind. She was in a coma for 10 days with over 40 medicines keeping her alive. After two days of being at the hospital, she was strong enough to have a bone marrow biopsy done. The biopsy confirmed she had acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
A'Niah wish tripHer wish was a trip to the Walt Disney World® Resort. It was the most amazing thing we ever did. We waited and took the trip during the tail end of her treatment. It was a beautiful way to celebrate her recovering health. The aggressiveness of the chemo treatments left little time for “fun” things. Disney was the first and only time our whole family was able to go on vacation together. Make-A-Wish® and Give Kids the World truly brightened our lives.
A'Niah [now seven years old] is just recently one year off of treatment. She is in remission and doing amazingly well. A'Niah is a true sports enthusiast. She's wanted to play football for as long as I can remember. This year she was ecstatic to be able to finally play. She is the only girl on her team and tells anyone who will listen that she is going to be the first girl football player at Penn State.
—Cassidy, A’Niah’s mom 
A'Niah at Penn State
A’Niah’s newfound strength and motivation can also be seen with many other children after experiencing a wish. According to a recent study published in Quality of Life Research, “The findings indicated that the children who received the wish-fulfillment intervention had higher levels of hope regarding their future, increased positive emotions and health-related quality of life, and a better psychological profile manifested by lower levels of depression, anxiety and psychological symptomatology.” (Shoshani 2015).

If you know a child, like A’Niah, who is between the ages of 2 ½ and 18 and is diagnosed with a critical illness, please begin the referral process today. To learn more, give us a call at 800.676.9474 or fill out our online form here.

About this Blog

This blog brings Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia to you -- sharing first-person stories of the Make-A-Wish experience and the impact of a wish from the perspectives of wish families, volunteers and staff. This blog highlights wishes come true and the special people in Pennsylvania and West Virginia that help create life-changing experiences for every eligible child.

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Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Inc.
The Gulf Tower
707 Grant Street, 37th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1938
(412) 471-9474
Toll Free (800) 676-9474
Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Southern West Virginia Office
888 Oakwood Rd
Oakwood Center, Suite 330
Charleston, WV 25314
(304) 342-9474
Toll Free (800) 664-9474
Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Northern West Virginia Office
913 Canyon Road
Morgantown, WV 26508
(304) 292-5600
Toll Free (888) 808-9474