Harper is a bold, adventurous, loving, five-year-old who lives in north suburban Libertyville with her family. She loves to laugh, swim, and play many outdoor sports.
A diagnosis of Leukemia did not slow Harper down for long. When referred to Make-A-Wish, Harper shared her desire to go skiing in Colorado. She had thoroughly enjoyed a previous family skiing trip, and couldn't wait to get back to the slopes.
“When we were talking to her about her wish, we had offered up Disney World, and all she kept saying was that she wanted to ski.”
Over the winter, her wish came true in Brekenridge, Colorado. With instructions from her own personal ski-instructor, Harper was on the bunny hill practicing for bigger slopes. Her mother shared that everyone at the resort came to know Harper, and when she would walk into the ski lodge everyone would say hi to her and happily exclaim “Harper's here!”
Off the slopes she and her family enjoyed a horse drawn carriage ride to dinner, met the Breckenridge mascot and even had fresh treats waiting for them at the condo where they were staying.
“She was surrounded by love, attention and affection; they treated her so wonderfully,” Harper’s mom said. “When you’ve got a sick kid all you want is a normal life for your child.”
This trip allowed Harper and her family to focus on the future instead of the stressful past.
“I think it was this exclamation point at the end of a long, sometimes grueling 2 ½ years of chemo, and treatments and hospitalization. It was a signal for us that things were turning [around] and could be taken off of pause and press play.”
Even on their journey home, Harper continued to feel like royalty, and reminded her mother in the car ride home that she was still the guest of honor.
“I know that people who support Make-A-Wish know that they are helping children, but they’re actually helping families. Make-A- Wish is part of the therapy, part of the healing, part of the healing plan.”