Energized by learning about the world's history, lively 17-year-old Sarah of Sharpsville, PA, is at her best when she's taking part in family excursions to museums and historical landmarks spilling over with interesting facts and figures. Looking forward to turning worry into hope, Make-A-Wish®
granted her wish of traveling to the beautiful land of Aspen, CO. During her "Rocky Mountain Christmas," Sarah, who is diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis, was able to fulfill her dream of seeing the majestic Rocky Mountains and experiencing the unique culture of the great American West.
Sarah's holiday to remember began on a snowy, white day in December 2010 at the Pittsburgh International Airport as United Airline staff escorted her to the cockpit and invited her to take pictures with the pilot prior to take-off. When Sarah and her family landed in snow-covered Colorado, they made their way to their home away from home at Hotel Aspen. The hotel staff treated Sarah and her family like royalty and made sure that there was a Christmas tree in their suite. Throughout the week, Sarah's itinerary was jam-packed with history and entertainment. To her amazement, she had the opportunity to take a private tour of the Wheeler Opera House and later got to see the jaw-dropping performance of White Christmas at the theater. The family visited the Wheeler-Stallard Museum and went on a magical sleigh ride through the picturesque streets of Aspen among the glistening pine trees and "Aspenglow." Among all of the breathtaking activities, Sarah's favorite elements of the trip were snowshoeing and taking a private tour of Ashcroft Ghost Town. Another highlight was during the premiere of the movie The Way We Were
, where the family had a heart-warming interaction with a local couple. The families began chatting while they were in line and Sarah's mom casually mentioned that the only downfall of traveling during the holidays was being away from homemade Christmas cookies. To their surprise, as they arrived back at their hotel the next night, there was a box of delicious homemade Christmas cookies waiting for them from the couple at the movies.
Along with warm, holiday joy from Aspen, this magical holiday vacation provided an answered call from a family searching for hope. Sarah and her family will never forget the glow of abundant joy that took over Sarah's face during the trip. The special memories that Sarah shared with her family are ones that she will keep close to her heart forever.