Aria is a fun-loving 6-year-old. She loves playing house, riding her bike, and drawing on anything she can get her hands on. Aria enjoys school and playing with Magnetics to build things from her wild imagination. She is also obsessed with Minnie Mouse, and has been ever since she could talk.
Aria is diagnosed with a rare genetic disease called MELAS syndrome and struggles to do normal everyday things independently. Although her prognosis isn’t very positive, Aria is beating the odds.
Some of the day-to-day challenges of Aria’s conditions began to take a toll on her fun-loving demeanor. Aria grew very lethargic and her family began to worry about her emotional health.
This all changed when Aria learned she would receive the opportunity to meet Minnie Mouse.
When Aria declared her wish, her family had never seen her smile so big. Her giggling, squealing, and laughing lit up everyone’s faces throughout the entire trip. This was Aria’s first vacation with her family, and her first time to ride a rollercoaster! Aria was able to meet Belle, ride horses, get her nails and makeup done, before finally meeting Mickey and Minnie. The meeting was so special that it brought tears to her family’s eyes. Afterwards, Aria would not stop asking to go see Minnie again, so her family bought her a Minnie Mouse stuffed animal bigger than Aria!
Aria’s wish was a turning point in her battle against MELAS. Since returning home, her demeanor has completely changed.
“Before the trip, Aria showed little to no interest in anything, and showed no real desire to even keep going,” her mom explained. “After her wish, she’s a different kid. She’s full of life, full of energy, and so happy all the time, now. She does more imaginative play, has a joy for learning, and it’s like she has the desire to live now. (Aria’s wish) truly saved my daughter’s life!”
Aria’s mom said that Aria is “exceeding expectations of her prognosis and she will go beyond.” Her family has since become closer and more compassionate towards each other.
Aria is now looking forward to first grade and is motivated to learn and be more engaged. She also cannot wait to see Minnie and Mickey again and carries her giant Minnie everywhere she goes.