Before being diagnosed with an inflammatory muscular disease, 14-year-old Harlie was a very active girl who loved softball and basketball and excelled at both sports. Unfortunately, Harlie’s illness took a toll on her active life, and for a while she was even confined to a wheelchair. Learning she would have the opportunity to make a wish was just the boost Harlie needed!
Ultimately, Harlie decided her one true wish was to visit the theme parks in Orlando and stay at Give Kids the World Village®. The 79-acre, nonprofit resort (catered to children with life-threatening illnesses and governed by a 6-foot tall bunny rabbit) features attractions such as the Ice Cream Palace and Dino Putt-putt, which sounded like a dream vacation to Harlie. It turned out to be the needed care-free escape she and her family craved.
One night Harlie met her favorite character—Sponge Bob Square Pants, and danced with him at a party at the resort. Her family reported that there was so much to do at the resort itself, they almost didn’t want to leave to visit the theme parks!
Overall, Harlie most enjoyed time together with her family on a vacation they otherwise would have never been able to take. Her mom reported that even though Harlie was in a wheelchair during her wish and therefore couldn’t go on some of the rides in the amusement parks, the trip sparked an enthusiasm in Harlie that had been missing for a while, and she returned home very happy.