This is not a post about food, well food is involved but not the main focus. This is about an 8 year old little girl who lights up a room when she walks in and makes anyone she is talking to feel like the most interesting person there. About 3 weeks ago she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and placed in a children’s hospital. After a couple days they allowed her to go home while everyone figured out a treatment plan. Within the next couple weeks she will be placed back into the children’s hospital for a week and then transferred to Tennessee for further treatment for up to 5 weeks. The outcome is uncertain and she will have a long recovery ahead of her. This little girl is loved by some many as their own. I came even imagine a world where I would have to live without her in my life. Her laugh and smile is infectious.
We asked her to make a list of places that she would like to go or has never been. Shopping at a mall was high priority on her list. She said “I just love malls and all the clothes and shoes.” At her house her closet has on many beautiful dresses that people have given her. She told me her goal was “to fill her closet with beautiful dresses and shoes.” This kid is hilarious. The other thing she had never done was go to Disneyland. According to the doctor she was not aloud to go on rides since it could trigger headaches and put her immediately back in the hospital, but we wanted her to have an amazing Disney experience anyway so we decided on a day at Downtown Disney.
We started our morning at her house 8:30am getting ready. She wore her Ariel tank top, Minnie Mouse ears and Aurora sunglasses and was antsy to get on the road. She fell asleep immediately in the car like most kids do, so the 1 1/2 car ride was like teleporting for her.
When we walked into Downtown Disney she could hardly contain herself. We had breakfast at the Storyteller Cafe where all the characters made an extra special effort to come and see her and take photos. If you have never been there before the price and experience is worth it. Her smile was from ear to ear. She loved the Mickey waffles. Who wouldn’t. And the mini bagels with cream cheese were exceptional to her. She said “it’s the best food I’ve ever tasted.” My favorite was the eggs Benedict. Amazing!
After stuffing ourselves we started on our Disney shopping. We started at the huge Disney World Store where she got a charm necklace (we all got matching charms), rolling suit case for her trip to the Tennessee hospital and flip flops. She looked at me with the biggest smile and said “we are going to have so many things when we leave.” We continued to look in all the stores where she accumulated a great deal of buttons. She looked like she worked there. The Lego store was so nice. They allowed her in the upstairs area where people are not allowed to get a better look at Darth Vader and then the manager came over and talked her and showed her a display that he really loved.
She had never made a Build A Bear before so we took her there. She chose a dog and named him “Browny”. When they asked her to make a wish she said she wished for no more doctors and a dog. Broke my heart.
We stopped for face painting because, why not. Got her a lanyard because her pins and buttons were pulling her shirt down. And then headed to the Mantara Spa in the California Grand Hotel where she had her nails and toes done. Like I said at the beginning, full Disney experience. By this time it was evening and we were still full from breakfast. A friend that morning had bought her an Aurora princess dress. We changed her into the dress took some photos of our beautiful princess and headed to the Rain Forest Cafe. Our waiter was so sweet and brought her a cupcake and told her it was because she was extra special. She was ecstatic.
We walked around until we found a nice spot to sit and relax and wait for the fireworks to start. Not because she was tired but because we were. I honestly didn’t think she was last this long with out a nap. She spent an hour twirling around with her bubble maker before the fireworks started. You would never know by looking at her that she has a brain tumor. We were all exhausted by the end of the night, but is was so worth it. Not once through out the day did I hear, buy me this or I want this. Everything was bought because we wanted to and received with a smile and a thank you. It’s so sad to know that life changing conditions like this happen to amazing innocent children everyday. I was happy to be part of a day where she didn’t have to be in a hospital or even think about doctors.