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Samantha goes shopping at Mall of America

Samantha at the Mall of America.

“ It was so nice to see strangers making my child smile. ”


- Magdalena, Samantha's mom

A shopping spree at the largest mall in the United States is any little girl’s dream, and 10-year-old Samantha from Chicago is no exception. She’s a lively child who loves American Girl dolls and hair accessories, so when she and her family got the chance to visit Mall of America thanks to Make-A-Wish, it was a dream come true.

Samantha's WishDiagnosed with a hematological disorder at a very young age, Samantha has “gone through lots of bad things in her short life,” said her mother, Magdalena. She’d had a stem cell transplant, chemotherapy and other treatments all within the first decade of her life. But a ray of hope came through in 2015 when Samantha found out she was eligible to become a Make-A-Wish wish child.

According to Magdalena, Samantha knew right away what her wish would be – she wanted to have a shopping spree at Mall of America. Thanks to Make-A-Wish, Samantha and her family were soon off to Minnesota for an unforgettable experience.

“[Samantha] got to go to all her favorite stores, like Justice, Claire’s, and American Girl,” Magdalena said. “We all had such a wonderful time.”

During the trip, Samantha got new dolls and plenty of hairbands, which she still wakes up every morning eager to wear. She and her family also got passes for the indoor amusement park rides at the Mall, which Magdalena said was “wonderful fun.”

The trip left Samantha happy and smiling, like a little girl should be, and Magdalena said that happiness hasn’t faded several months after her wish and she still talks about her Make-A-Wish experience to her friends at school whenever she gets the chance.

“It was so nice to see strangers making my child smile,” Magdalena said, getting emotional. “When she’s happy, everyone’s happy. We really are going to remember that trip forever.”

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