Kealy couldn’t wait to begin her freshman year of high school. She was looking forward to joining the volleyball team, but the diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma sent her life into a tailspin. Instead of going to class, playing volleyball and attending homecoming activities, Kealy spent her days receiving intensive chemotherapy.
Despite her challenges living with a life-threatening medical condition, Kealy’s spirits remained high. She knew she could fight this cancer. Her positive attitude gave her family hope, and they knew they could make it through the tough times together.
Prior to her diagnosis, Kealy’s family had been planning a vacation to Walt Disney World® Resort. Due to mounting medical expenses, the trip was cancelled - a big disappointment for Kealy. She had been looking forward to experiencing the magic of Disney® with her family. Then, during a visit to the hospital, Kealy discovered she was eligible to receive a wish. Suddenly, her dream became possible again!
Kealy’s wish to go to Walt Disney World® Resort came true this past winter. She was thrilled to explore the Disney® theme parks, relax in the sun and play volleyball at the beach.
Her wish gave her exactly what she needed: the chance to take a break from chemotherapy, tests, long drives to the hospital, and worry. Kealy is grateful to have had the opportunity to step away from the stress of her diagnosis for a while. “I couldn’t have asked for anything greater,” she said.
Kealy's wish also brought her family together. “After 5 months of craziness, the family really enjoyed the together time. I think what I will remember the most is the fact that it really was a worry-free vacation. The fact that my family could still have a family vacation after all that Kealy went through made my heart happy. As a parent, you just want your children to be happy….they were happy. That is all I can ask for,” said Kealy's mom, Ann.
“We are just a normal family from Central Minnesota who were chosen to walk a difficult path with the diagnosis of our daughter. Throughout all of the treatments and appointments, we knew we had an entire village walking this path with us. That village came to include the Make-A-Wish® organization” Ann said. “Make-A-Wish sends a ray of brightness and hope into a household."