At the age of seven, Jagger’s ambition is bigger than her cancer. She has big plans for her future (she wants to be everything from a scientist to an actress), not to mention her busy schedule of playing the violin, swimming, and gymnastics.
Jagger also has the gift of empathy. From the moment she entered the hospital, she began planning little service projects. She liked to invite all the nurses and doctors in to get fitted with her homemade jewelry and ask all about their lives.
Prior to her diagnosis, Jagger enjoyed the same things as most six-year-olds. Jagger’s whole life changed when, during a family trip, her leg began to hurt. She couldn’t remember injuring it, yet there was a strange bump developing on her shin. X-rays and blood work later revealed that Jagger had bone cancer. At first, Jagger struggled to cope with her diagnosis, but came to believe that God wanted her to use this hardship to teach her how to do hard things. After a surgery to remove her fibula, as Jagger learned how to walk again, she looked for the positive of every day. Jagger is now in remission and receives scans every few months to make sure she remains cancer free.
When Jagger was initially referred to Make-A-WishⓇ, she wanted to raise money for other cancer kids. Her family found other ways to do this and raised over $50,000 for cancer research. Jagger’s social worker encouraged her to continue to pursue a wish and her mom said it was probably the hardest decision of Jagger’s life. She didn’t know where to start. She just loves everything! Jagger started doing some research, looking specifically for a place with awesome water slides. With help from her wish granters, Jagger discovered Atlantis Paradise Island BahamasⓇ. On Christmas morning, she opened a present revealing that her wish was coming true. From that point forward, Jagger began planning every detail she could think to include in her wish to go to Atlantis.
By the time her wish arrived, Jagger had prepared her own itinerary, scheduling down to what water slides she would ride on what day. The first highlight of the wish for Jagger and her siblings was walking off the plane and heading straight to a limo. “I think we could have gone home right then and they’d be like ‘that was amazing,’” Jagger’s mom joked. The kids exhausted themselves running around the resort and finding every aquarium. The food there was a kid’s dream and they rode the lazy river over and over again. With her endurance not what it used to be, Jagger would crash on a lawn chair at about three o’clock before waking again for more fun.
For Jagger’s mom, the best part of the wish experience was finally being together again as a family. For the past year, Jagger’s dad had stayed home with the boys while she was almost always at the hospital with Jagger and her baby sister. “We were ships in the night,” Jagger’s mom recalled. But at Atlantis, the whole family played together endlessly. “They missed each other, you know” Jagger’s mom said of her kids. “We all missed each other.”
Jagger has always been a hopeful and charitable child. But having her wish fulfilled was meaningful in ways that neither Jagger, nor her family, expected. The wish increased Jagger’s ability to dream. “It restored her faith in something bigger than herself,” her mom explained, “and reminded her that miracles can happen.”