14-year-old Kaitlin is very artistic, enjoys practicing ballet, and recently read the entire Fablehaven series within three weeks. Kaitlin just finished up her eighth grade school year but hasn’t spent too much time outdoors this summer. Looking at Kaitlin, one would have no idea how much she deals with on a daily basis; but, most of Kaitlin’s time is filled with doctor appointments, hospital stays, and rigorous medical routines for treating her cystic fibrosis.
When given the opportunity to make a wish, Kaitlin declared she wanted to go to Hawaii because she wanted to have a relaxing vacation where she could forget about the hospital. On the trip, Kaitlin was able to hang out by the beach and go snorkeling. The most memorable part of the entire vacation was when she swam with a pod of 10 beautiful dolphins. Kaitlin even documented the entire experience with her camera.
Kaitlin’s mom said the wish experience was a dream come true! The entire process really impacted Kaitlin’s attitude toward her illness, and her mom explained that it was helpful for Kaitlin to have others outside of her family acknowledge that she overcomes hardships because of her illness. It was nice for her to just act like a regular teenager for the week.
“Make-A-Wish® has a special place in our hearts because they have been able to provide the most magical and memorable experiences for our family,” Kaitlin’s mom said. “They take care of everything and all we have to do is show up and enjoy. When you live with chronic illness, traveling is complicated; so, to be able to see Kaitlin be able to go to Hawaii, a feat too big for us to accomplish on our own, is incredibly heartwarming for us to see.”