Every year about 200 wishes come true for children in Indiana. Lorena, age 14 of Waynedale, was granted her most favorite wish, to visit Disney World.
You see, for many children, attending school, playing in the backyard, and running through a sprinkler on hot summer days are done with little effort. But for Lorena, diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, energy is low and optimism is not so promising. It is for kids like Lorena that MAKE-A-WISH Foundation of Indiana comes into play.
Lorena's treasured wish began by flying out of the Fort Wayne International Airport and arriving in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday, June 8th, 2002. Lorena, her mom, Maria Hernandez and little brother, Alex's first stop was at 'GIVE KIDS THE WORLD', Kissimmee, Florida.
"My trip to Walt Disney World was wonderful! When we arrived at 'Give Kids The World Village, they were very nice. This Village is designed for kids who are sick, and get to go to the theme parks," said Lorena. "Our first theme park was Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. My favorite rides at Universal were Men In Black Alien Attack, Back to the Future The Ride, Jaws, and Earthquake The Big One, The Fantastic World of Hanna Barbara, Kongfrontation, and Twister...Ride It Out. My favorites at Islands of Adventure were The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman 3-D, Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls (we really got wet!), Jurassic Park River Adventure (we got wet again), The Flying Unicorn Coaster, The Cat In The Hat, Poseidon's Fury, and Storm Force Acceleration. My favorite from the Disney theme parks were the parades and at Sea World were the performing dolphins and Shamu. Before we left all the parks I of course took a lot of pictures and bought many souvenirs."
"But what I really like at the Village was the ceiling filled with stars that have all the sick kids' name on them that were there just like me."
Hoping to create a little strength, hope, and joy in a child's life, the mission of the MAKE-A-WISH Foundation of Indiana is to grant wishes to children, under the age of 18, with life-threatening illnesses, like Lorena's.
MAKE-A-WISH is the largest wish-granting charity in the world. Since 1983, through private donations and volunteers, over 1000 Hoosier children have had their dreams and wishes come true.
For more information about the MAKE-A-WISH Foundation of Indiana visit www.makeawishindiana.org or contact them at 317-636-6060.