This post is about a sweet princess named Violet and her Make-A-Wish trip to Disneyland. I am so honored that her mother, Shenay, gave me the opportunity to share their special experience with you all. Grab your tissues and be prepared to remember what a blessing life is and see how magical Disney can truly be.
Our sweet baby Violet Brielle was diagnosed with a pediatric cancer called Retinoblastoma at just 7 months old. We were devastated beyond belief. Within just days we were forced to move near to Seattle Children’s Hospital and everything started … CT scans, MRIs, surgeries, 6 months of chemotherapy, labs, exams under anesthesia, injections … It was the most difficult time my husband and I had ever faced. Genetic test results came back that Violet not only had Bi-Lateral Retinoblastoma, but she also had the RB1 gene mutation and a rare chromosome 13 deletion. This meant she was at higher risk of other cancers developing in her body throughout her life along with many other threats to her health. Violet’s diagnosis is a lifelong, day by day risk and there is currently no cure. Violet’s cancer is in remission, however, her body does not create the protein that ours does to suppress new tumor growth. Every cell in her body is a potential danger, and so, every day of health is a very precious gift.
When we heard the news that Violet was approved for a wish through Make-A-Wish she was so excited! At our first visit with Violet’s Make-A-Wish volunteers it was easily determined that Violet wish was to see Mickey and friends at Disneyland. Making it even more special, Violet would be enjoying this trip on her 3rd birthday! The countdown began and we had so much to look forward to. Everyday we would talk about how much fun we were going to have at Disneyland! Violet would watch videos of the rides and parades in between jumping up and down for joy at the thought of being there soon.
When we arrived at Paradise Pier we were greeted by the manager of the resort hotel and treated with VIP status. We stayed in a beautiful room with this awesome view of California Adventure.
Over the next 3 days, Violet’s wish experience at Disneyland was full of wonderful surprises from start to finish. The characters and cast members at Disneyland were just amazing! They had such a sincere joy for Violet and our family and they all made her feel like she was the most important little girl in the parks.
With her Make-A-Wish Genie Pass, Violet was quickly escorted to the front of all lines to meet her Disney character friends! Even the photographers followed Violet around for long periods of time to make sure they captured all of her special moments.
Each character interaction had our family in the happiest tears because they took so much time with Violet. They hugged and danced together, they walked with her hand in hand to meet other characters, princesses gathered to play ring around the rosies with her and they even gave her a personal tour of Fantasy Faire.
Did you know there is an exclusive place for children on a Make-A-Wish trip to visit at Disneyland? It is called the Wish Lounge and it is located at the end of Main Street. It was a beautiful and relaxing retreat where they had snacks and drinks for our family. Best of all, Violet enjoyed a playdate there with Mickey Mouse himself! They played a whole game of Candy Land and they even spent time coloring together. Violet absolutely loved it and there wasn’t a dry eye in our family as we witnessed this very magical time.
Violet also received a complete Cinderella make over at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique! Violet’s sweet little face beamed with happiness when everyone she met at Disneyland that day referred to her as Princess Violet.
One of Violet’s photographers arranged even more special time with Mickey! He walked us over to a spot in California Adventure where Mickey would again make Violet feel like he was there just for her. He came out from behind the scenes, gave Violet a big hug, took her by the hand and lead her up and down Buena Vista Street. Mickey was personally showing Violet around his land! They stopped to dance, read the Disney newspaper, say hi to Pluto and wave to the guests on the trolley. Crowds gathered to witness this once-in-a-lifetime moment and many were snapping photos! Oh my heart, it was just unbelievable and wonderful. Here was our sweet and brave girl, who goes through so much that a child should never have to face, just beaming with ear to ear smiles and not having a care in the world. Violet was walking hand in hand with the mouse himself as if they had been friends forever. It was a perfect moment that we will never forget.
On our last night there, when it was time for the special castle lighting and firework show, the cast members were kind enough to give our family seats in a reserved area front and center. Violet was in awe of the show and threw her arms up in the air with excitement when they made it snow on Main Street!
When Make-A-Wish and Disney get together, they make incredible moments happen. Moments full of joy, love and wonderment … A magic like no other! We shed many happy tears watching Violet shine her little light all over the Happiest Place on Earth. Our courageous little girl was treated like a true princess and it was the biggest blessing to witness. We will always remember Violet’s blissful smiles as her wish came true. We are so very grateful! Thank you Make-A-Wish and Disney!
~Shenay (Violet’s Mom)
Click here to watch Violet’s official Make-A-Wish video (and get your tissues ready!)
We believe in miracles! Please follow our sweet Violet’s journey on Facebook.
If you know of a child that may be eligible for a wish, please don’t hesitate to contact the lovely staff at Make-A-Wish! Violet’s local chapter is Make-a-Wish Alaska and Washington.