Allison and her family were able to escape regular checkups and hospital visits when her wish to meet her favorite movie heroine, Moana, was granted on the sandy beaches of Hawaii.
Diagnosed with a complex congenital heart defect, five-year-old Allison spends a lot of her time getting her blood drawn or checking in with doctors—but she would much rather play. When her parents were told by her social workers that Allison qualified for a wish, her mom was shocked, but excited.
“I’ve done some volunteer work in the past with Make-A-Wish,” said Kelly Wittich, Allison’s mom. “I knew Make-A-Wish, but I didn’t really think about Allison qualifying for a wish.”
When asked what her wish would be, Allison knew immediately what she wanted: to meet Moana.
“Allison loves to sing, dance and act out Moana. She loves the colors, the music and especially that it takes part in water. She watches it about three or four times a week!” laughed Kelly.
It was then planned that the best way for Allison to meet Moana would be a trip to Hawaii: to sail across the sea, fly in a helicopter above the island, and, most importantly, to restore the heart of Te Fiti (an important part of the film). As her wish was being planned, Allison had to wait a few months before her trip. Luckily, her wish granters knew exactly how to keep Allison excited.
Her wish granters arranged for Allison and the family to meet at Belmont Harbor in Chicago where they boarded a private boat, the Bellanzi. “They told her to start the search for the heart of Te Fiti,” said Kelly. Allison rode around Chicago, listening to music from Moana, wearing a captain’s hat and leis. Eventually, she found the heart of Te Fiti, a necklace with a turquoise stone in the center.
“That definitely revived her passion for Moana before her trip. She wore it everywhere.”
Finally, it was time for Allison to meet Moana. After a limo drive to the airport, she landed in Hawaii, where she found a series of clues, leading her to a private session with Moana. Allison, her little brother and Moana played hide and seek around the resort. She had the time of her life, and according to her mom, Allison never wanted to leave.
“She kept saying ‘Can I stay in Hawaii?’”
Even after returning home from the Moana getaway, Allison and her family are still reeling in the joy the wish brought them.
“It’s not lost on me how many people came together for her. Given the right opportunity and chances, Make-A-Wish makes magic. You made magic for us.”