Even though it has been nearly two decades since Julia had her wish granted, the power of a wish still continues to live on in her life today.
At five years old, Julia, of McKeesport, Pa., was diagnosed with leukemia and granted her wish to visit the Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando, Fl. There, she had her dream come true, meeting her favorite Disney Princess, Ariel, from “The Little Mermaid.”
“I remember seeing Ariel and being so excited,” she said. As Julia was decked out in an Ariel shirt and sneakers, she posed with the Princess for a photo – one that quickly became her family’s favorite captured memory.
While Julia’s wish gave her a chance to just be a kid, it also allowed her whole family to escape the stresses of her diagnosis. “It took us away from all the negative and allowed us to focus on the positive,” Julia said. “My family still talks about it to this day.”
Now 22, Julia has been in remission for 16 years and recently graduated from Penn State University with a degree in biology. She plans on attending medical school, where she is considering studying oncology. “I always saw myself doing something in pediatric or general oncology,” she said, as it is a field very near and dear to her heart.
But no matter how old she is and how much time has passed, Julia admits that her wish destination is still her favorite fantasy. “I’m obsessed with Disney,” she said. “I’ve gone back multiple times.”
Each time she returns, Julia is reminded of the time in her life where she was given hope and happiness when she needed it most.
“When I go, I think about where I was in my life and how far I’ve come since then,” she said. “I’m forever grateful for my wish and it is something that’s going to stay with me forever.”