By researching online, 12-year-old Esther has studied a lot about aerodynamics. She likes learning about how things work. But she had never experienced an airplane flight. In fact, she had never traveled on any vacation.
Esther has a neuromuscular disease. When she was six months old, she aspirated and had to be put on a vent. She spent much of her first year in the hospital, and many believed that she would not survive. She has become more stable as the years have gone by, but the severity of her condition requires a lot of care.
She also has 18 siblings in her house, many of whom also have serious medical conditions. So, vacationing isn’t something Esther’s mom, Lori, thought would be possible.
That changed when Make-A-Wish granted Esther’s wish to travel to Walt Disney World. Esther, her parents and 10 siblings traveled to Orlando on a trip full of new adventures, starting with her first airplane ride.
“The trip gave her reality,” Lori said. “She studies aerodynamics, but now she got to feel what it is really like to be on an airplane. When she studies more, she’ll be able to relate better.”
The adventures continued as the family visited the Magic Kingdom, made a special trip to the ocean and enjoyed the festivities at Give Kids the World. Esther loved riding It’s a Small World, taking pictures with the characters from Frozen and petting a dolphin at SeaWorld.
Esther’s sister, Sadie, especially enjoyed the time at SeaWorld, particularly watching the whale shows.
“The best part of the trip was SeaWorld,” Sadie said. “It was really awesome there.”
Esther couldn’t pick a favorite part of the trip because she loved everything. Despite her medical struggles, she has kept a positive outlook. Her motto has always been “This is the best day ever.” The trip to Florida far exceeded even her expectations, though.
“Most of the time wishes don’t come true, but a wish that comes true makes people really happy,” Esther said. “It was like that with me; I didn’t think it could come true.”
The trip gave her reality. She studies aerodynamics, but now she got to feel what is really like to be on an airplane.
Lori, Esther's mom