Make-A-Wish was founded based on the idea that children with critical illnesses deserve a chance to have their dreams come true. The organization’s hope is that these life-changing experiences can bring about a renewed sense of optimism and positively impact the lives of sick children and their families. Throughout the years, Disney has partnered with Make-A-Wish on many occasions. It is a very common wish for many children to visit Walt Disney World, meet their favorite character, or even ride Space Mountain.
April 29, 2023, is World Wish Day, a time of the year that commemorates more than 40 years of granting life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.
One Girl’s Story
One such heartwarming story from 2020 features a four-year-old outgoing girl enamored with Donald Duck. Diagnosed with a heartbreaking leukemia diagnosis, she went from giggling with her friends to enduring painful treatments in the hospital. But through it all, her beloved Donald Duck cartoons kept the brave little girl smiling.
Through Make-A-Wish, Sasha traveled to the Walt Disney World Resort to give her favorite character a hug. When she arrived at the Magic Kingdom, she found Donald Duck waiting for her with open arms. “Sasha’s face lit up with excitement the moment she saw him,” said Randi, Sasha’s mom. “She had her hands over her mouth, her cheeks were turning bright red, and she had this huge smile on her face. She was just filled with so much joy.”
A Dose of Donald Duck
Sasha and Donald Duck colored pictures of Disney princesses and posed for photos, Sasha grinning the entire time. “I was really, really, really excited!” Sasha said. “It was magical. He even drew me a picture. It felt like he was my best friend!”
Sasha continued her day, skipping through the parks and filling up her autograph book with signatures from each of her favorite characters. She got to ride Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction and shared the experience of a lifetime with her family.
According to Make-A-Wish, Sasha is cancer-free. Her mom views the trip to Walt Disney World and meeting Donald Duck as the turning point for their family.
In 2020, Disney also partnered with Make-A-Wish to create The Wish Effect Series, a documentary-style show that tracks where several wish kids are now and examines how their wish has stayed with them through the years.
Make-A-Wish is currently accepting donations for its annual World Wish Day.