I wish to go to the Walt Disney World® Resort
Emma's Meeting with Elsa Refills Her Heart with Happiness
Shortly after adopting Emma from China, Tina sensed something was wrong. Her precious new daughter had started tripping over things and running into walls.
Just after her 3rd birthday, Emma was diagnosed with cancer, which caused her to lose her eyesight.
"When we got the diagnosis in the medical office, I don't even have a word to describe the feeling," Tina said.
Though Emma is unable to see, she doesn't let that stop her from trying to live a normal life. Emma takes comfort from certain images that are embedded in her mind from before she lost her vision. "Frozen," the first movie she ever saw, made an unforgettable impression. Emma was particularly enchanted by the beautiful snow queen Elsa.
When the family was introduced to Make-A-Wish®, Emma was clear about her one true wish. "She said, 'I want to be with Elsa.' And the place to do that was at Disney World," Tina said.
Through the generosity of Disney, Emma experienced the opportunity to visit go to the Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando, Fla. As the anticipation built for Emma's big introduction to Elsa, Tina says they didn't know what to expect. "My daughter could no longer see, but when Elsa spoke to her and touched her, Emma was just elated," Tina said.
Elsa and Emma shared a long, warm hug. Elsa also let Emma touch her costume and count the snowflakes. "My husband is not a crier, but on that day, we just watched him cry. It was the first time we saw Emma happy in months," Tina said. "It's a memory that I will remember forever."
When Emma needs to fall back on her happiest memories, she has so much more than the movie – she has a life-changing meeting with a character she has always adored. "Emma still remembers her experience with Elsa," Tina said.
Emma's wish experience had such a positive impact on Tina and Brad that they decided to become volunteer wish granters for Make-A-Wish. "I can only hope that my husband and I give back to Make-A-Wish as much as it gave to our family," Tina said.
Since 1980, Disney and Make-A-Wish have granted wishes for more than 140,000 children with critical illnesses around the world. Today, one out of every two wishes granted in the U.S. is a Disney wish.