When JJ’s parents, Kelly and Anthony, discovered their daughter was diagnosed with leukemia, their lives were forever changed. At just five years old, JJ had been taken to the doctor with symptoms her parents believed to be a virus. After several tests, a trip to Children’s Hospital and a chest X-ray, doctors confirmed her parents’ fear - JJ had leukemia.
"The diagnosis was devastating,” Kelly said. “Our world stopped moving forward.”
Hospital visits and physical therapy became a routine for JJ along with losing her hair, adjusting to braces on her legs to battle neuropathy, countless needles and tests, and sadly missing school. Although this shock came with many emotions and difficulties, JJ didn’t want this to stop her from keeping her spirits high. “JJ has been so strong and resilient. She has been brave in ways I never could have imagined,” Kelly said.
When JJ learned Make-A-Wish® Minnesota was granting her wish, her spirits soared to new heights. She wished to go somewhere magical and was soon off to Walt Disney World® Resort. JJ had a blast going on rides, visiting Cinderella’s castle, and meeting many of her favorite Disney® princesses.
JJ’s wish not only gave her a memorable adventure, but also something to look forward to during treatments and difficult days when she felt the worst. Kelly would often tell JJ, “You aren’t given a wish. You earn a wish.” And JJ truly fought hard to earn hers. “The trip made me feel like I had nothing to worry about," JJ said. “I was able to just act like a kid.”