While initially shy, when she comes out of her shell Journey is the most animated 5-year-old around. Journey loves to play with her dolls and tell stories. She has a giant imagination and lets everyone know all about it. Journey is a little fish and swims any chance she gets.
When she was born, Journey was diagnosed with seven heart defects and had her first surgery at 7 weeks old. Because Journey’s valves and artery stents are not permanent, she will require multiple surgeries to replace them throughout her life.
Journey is obsessed with Moana and loves her story. When Journey learned her medical condition qualified her to receive a wish, she wanted to live just as Moana did and visit the islands of Hawaii. Journey’s mom explained that they were not going to ride a boat across the ocean, but Journey was equally excited to take her first plane ride and visit Moana’s homeland.
In true wish kid VIP experience, Journey was upgraded to first class. When she arrived in Hawaii, Journey put her hands up on her cheeks and screeched because she was just too excited. She took her first-ever swim in the ocean and loved building sandcastles on the beach. The highlight of her wish was a snorkeling and whale watching dinner cruise, where she and her family saw a baby whale and her mama catching up to the rest of the pod. She was also able to pet a dolphin and received a dolphin kiss!
Journey loved the resort’s luaus, relaxing on the beach, and of course some shopping. Everyday, Journey’s family would pass a ukulele shop on their way to the beach, by the end of her trip Journey knew she wanted to take one home. On the last day, of her wish Journey’s parents surprised her with a bright pink ukulele of her own.
Journey’s wish helped her to take a step back from her rough year and rejuvenate. Before traveling, having the wish to look forward to helped Journey face her “scary things,” like medical treatments, and this experience has made her braver in all aspects of life. Journey is now more open and outgoing, and she has a more positive attitude overall. She wants to go back to Hawaii and her family is now trying to plan another trip. This summer, they even bought a swimming pool just so Journey and her sister could pretend they are back at the beaches.