Cheerleading has been Anne’s life for years with daily practice and frequent competitions. Last year, Anne was diagnosed with leukemia just two weeks before the state cheer competition and had to miss the event. After this difficult experience and months of appointments and procedures at Lurie Children’s Hospital
, Anne was able to end her treatment on a positive note when Make-A-Wish flew Anne and her family from their Barrington home to Hawaii to fulfill Anne’s wish.
The family had talked about going for years but never had been able to make the trip. It was an even more perfect destination since Anne’s favorite television show is Hawaii 5-0. Anne and her family began their adventure in a beautiful beach side home donated by Airbnb through their initiative to grant a wish a day in 2017. Airbnb is sponsoring wishes worldwide and providing hosts for families in new and exciting places in partnership with Make-a-Wish.
They were able to enjoy much-needed family time in their private paradise as well as explore the nearby beach and meet other vacationers. One part of her illness that was particularly difficult for Anne was having both of her older sisters away at college when she was diagnosed.
“The opportunity to be together as a family was invaluable,” Anne said.
The family relaxed on the beach, went jet skiing, took in a luau, and got a breathtaking helicopter tour of the island. This experience has changed Anne’s perspective in more ways than one. Previously, she planned to study business in college. However, Anne recently committed to a nursing program. She says this was definitely influenced by her experiences with healthcare professionals throughout her illness.
Anne not only will be able to remember her Hawaiian adventure as a fun trip, but also as part of journey that led her to a new passion and a future career.