Aliyah was battling what her family thought was a typical cold on Christmas Eve. However, when her condition took a turn for the worse, she had to be rushed to the emergency room. Aliyah lapsed into a coma and was rushed by ambulance to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester where she spent three days in a coma and two weeks in the ICU.
After seeing her daughter so sick, Joleen said, “We never thought we would be watching our daughter fighting for her life. No parent ever wants to see their child like that. It was the scariest thing we have ever experienced.”
Eventually, Aliyah was healthy enough to go home but did not learn the nature of her condition until six months later. Aliyah and her family received the final test results that she has an extremely rare genetic condition called, genetic disorder. With Aliyah’s condition, her body burns energy faster than others. Her condition can severely harm her organs and brain, with the possibility of organ failure and coma.
Since Aliyah’s diagnosis, her family has become very cautious. Worried she could be taken ill again, they make sure to avoid potentially harmful situations. Despite the worry over her condition, Aliyah is still an active 6-year-old who loves to dance, color, and swim. She enjoys playing dolls with her three cousins Ainslie, Madison, and Addie Rose. You can also find her playing with her two dogs, Brutus and Tatiana.
Aliyah was inspired to go to Walt Disney World® Resort because she wished to meet her favorite Disney characters.
In April 2019, her wish came true. Aliyah’s wish began with her first ever plane ride. Highlights from her trip included going on theme park rides and visiting Cocoa Beach where she experienced the ocean for the first time. Aliyah had a blast during her wish where she was able to temporarily forget about her medical condition and just enjoy being a kid.
“It’s something we will never forget and it will always be our favorite vacation!” Joleen said.