Latavia is a bright young lady with tons of energy. She is a leader in her Bolingbrook community and at her high school where she is very involved in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. Her outgoing personality has attracted plenty of friends and family that adore her.
Latavia’s free time was cut short when she was diagnosed with a life-threatening hematologic disorder. She had some long stretches of time when she was always sick.
“There were times that I wasn’t even able to stand outside in the sun because of of dehydration. My parents were always making sure I was OK,” says Latavia.
The medical team treating Latavia at Advocate Children’s Hospital referred her to Make-A-Wish Illinois for a wish experience. Latavia was enthusiastic about being able to choose a wish that fit not only her personality, but included her very supportive family. She was excited at the idea of being able to physically travel somewhere new, outside and far beyond the pages of the books she reads. Latavia knew she wanted to travel outside the United States. Her love for Jambalaya and her desire for exploration led her to choose a Caribbean cruise. The cruise ignited a spark within her.
“It made me want to travel the world when I get older,” said Latavia. “I felt like I needed a break and the cruise helped me turn over a new leaf and bounce back from it all”.
Along one of the stops of the cruise, the family got to be a part of a huge street parade where they celebrated and mingled with DreamWorks characters such as Puss in Boots and Shrek. That is one of many highlights of her wish that Latavia thinks about even today.
“I really enjoyed Puerto Rico. The architecture was pretty and vibrant and the people were nice,” shared Latavia. The high-diving and aerial performance show at the Aqua Theater on board the ship was by far her favorite part of the trip.
Latavia is set to graduate high school in 2018 and is looking toward a bright future of working in the medical field.