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A Wish Come True

Student receives trip to Disney World

Kenzie Lee embraces Macy Hoyler.

Natasa Dobras, Staff Writer

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Kenzie Lee can spout off the names of many Disney characters, and is quick to tell you that her favorite is Cinderella.

On Sept. 7, junior Macy Hoyler slipped into a Cinderella costume. Armed with a bouquet of spring flowers and a Minnie Mouse stuffed toy, Macy stood in front of a Make-A-Wish banner in the west commons. Dozens of administrators, teachers and classmates watched as Kenzie entered the room. Hand-in-hand with special education teacher Joy Webb, Kenzie walked slowly toward her favorite Disney princess.

“Kenzie May,” Macy said. “You’re going to Disney World, Sweet Girl.”

Without hesitation, Kenzie engulfed Macy in her arms as onlookers tried their best to keep a dry eye.

In October, Kenzie and her parents will visit Disney World, a trip made possible through donations made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Make-A-Wish is a nonprofit organization that grants “wishes” to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Behind the scenes, Development Officer Alba Austin is the person in charge of guiding the entire process.

“In Amarillo, we typically grant 20 to 30 wishes (per year),” Austin said. “(The trip was Kenzie’s) wish; that’s what she wanted.”

Over the years, Make-A-Wish has granted a total of 285,000 wishes. Out of these wishes, at least 100,000 have been to Disney World.  

“Typically, a Disney World trip wish will include a stay at a village called ‘Give Kids the World,’ then they will get set up to meet their favorite characters, and then they get to cut in front of all the lines at Disney World,” Austin said. “Make-A-Wish provides all their travel necessities.”

The foundation grants all different kinds of wishes to kids depending on their interest or likes.

“Most of our wishes fall into four categories; I wish to be, I wish to go, I wish to have, and I wish to meet,” Austin said. “I wish to go are travel wishes, like Disney World.”

Austin said Make-A-Wish has conducted studies which prove that wishes do make a difference in a child’s medical journey and the child’s life.

“It gives them hope, joy and something to look forward to,” Austin said. “It really changes their mindset in their whole medical journey.”

Kenzie, who has never visited Disney before, said she is excited for the trip. Macy, who has been friends with her since kindergarten, said she was honored to play Cinderella for the day. 

“It was special to be a part of this,” Macy said. “Kenzie always talks about Disney and loves all the characters. I am happy she gets to do this.”

To add to that, Macy said Kenzie is deserving of this trip.

“She’s such a happy-go-lucky person,” Macy said. “She never worries about what others are doing; she only worries about herself, and she teaches us more than we could ever teach her.”

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A Wish Come True