HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) – It’s a wish fit for a princess.
A Lebanon girl is getting the trip of a lifetime after spending much of hers in and out of hospitals. This trip simply hasn’t been possible for the past several years.
But now, thanks to volunteers and donations, the Richardson family is packing their bags.
At 6 years old, Maya Richardson likes what you’d expect her to like.
“She and her older sister always have adored princesses, as most little girls probably do,” Maya’s mom, Jamie, said Saturday.
Saturday at Hershey’s Chocolate World, dressed in her “Frozen” shirt, she was treated like one.
A cartoon Hershey’s Kiss talked specifically to her at the beginning of a movie in the 4D Mystery theater, and she picked out cupcake of her choice.
“I’m just going to get the s’mores,” she said, grinning.
“She just is a bundle of joy and lots of energy,” said Sherrie Davis, a wish granter with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
But this isn’t the kind of treatment she’s used to.
“Right before Maya was 2 years old,” Jamie said, “she was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis.” That disorder causes tumors on nerve tissue.
“She also has an optic nerve glioma, which is basically a brain tumor on both of her eyes and into her brain,” Jamie said.
That’s why this day was all about her. It was the day Make-A-Wish gave her the itinerary.
“She knew right away, when we went to do the first wish visit with her, she knew immediately this is where she wanted to go,” Davis said.
“They granted her a wish to Disney World,” Jamie said. Where the princesses live.
“And even the water park,” Maya said excitedly.
“Maya has been undergoing medical treatment for almost five years,” Jamie said, “so it has really never been a possibility for us.”
Her chemotherapy treatments have become less frequent: she used to go every week. Now it’s once a month. Her family hopes she’ll be done with them by August.
“We just kind of have to keep soldiering on in what we do,” Jamie said.
Davis said one of the reasons they presented her with the itinerary at Chocolate World is because she always takes Hershey’s chocolate to the children’s hospital in Philly for all the patients, nurses and doctors when she goes for treatment.