This spring will mark one of the biggest milestones in nine-year-old Charlotte’s life: five years of being cancer free. After a difficult battle against leukemia, this milestone means everything to Charlotte and her family.
Charlotte’s journey began with a few high fevers when she was two years old. A trip to her pediatrician for what they thought was a virus quickly revealed leukemia. She went straight to the hospital to begin a long journey of treatments.
“The diagnosis was quite shocking and devastating to us,” said Charlotte’s mom, Sally. “It was an emotional roller coaster finding out about Charlotte.”
Charlotte’s young life was turned upside down during the next two and a half years. While she endured chemotherapy and weekly hospital visits, her family struggled as Sally had been newly pregnant with their second child at the time of Charlotte’s diagnosis. They had to balance welcoming a new child into their family while keeping their first one on the road to recovery. It was during this dark time that they learned Charlotte would receive a wish from Make-A-Wish® Minnesota.
Charlotte loved to dance, enjoyed going to her dance classes and dreamed of being a ballerina one day. When it came time to decide on her wish, she knew immediately what it would be: I wish to be a ballerina.
In 2013, Charlotte’s wish came true as she and her family traveled to San Diego for a performance of Swan Lake by the California Ballet Company. Before the performance, Charlotte had a backstage tour and practiced her dance steps on-stage with the ballerinas.
“It could not have been more perfect for her,” Sally said. “I remember feeling really happy for the first time in a while. I remember feeling really hopeful that life could return to normal and that there was a good chance Charlotte was going to be okay.”
Charlotte vividly remembers her trip to San Diego with her family and loves to look at pictures from her wish experience. “It’s something she’ll never forget because it was so unique and special to her,” Sally said.
Charlotte’s family is grateful that Charlotte has made it through her illness and is living a happy and healthy life today.
“It’s important to have a really happy memory in the midst of a lot of difficult memories,” Sally said. “We are really grateful we had that opportunity because we would have never been able to do something like that on our own.”
Charlotte’s wish has given her hope, strength and joy that will be with her forever. This hope remains as she looks forward to celebrating five years of being cancer-free.
When you help Make-A-Wish Minnesota grant wishes: Hope is returned. Strength is regained. Joy is restored. Thank you for your support during the past 35 years. We look forward to another 35 years of wish granting and hope you will join us on this journey.
To learn more about how you or your company can get involved or how to make a gift today, visit our Ways To Help page.