by Samara Postuma
The Albertville Premium Outlet Crazy 8 store recently hosted a very special Make A Wish event.
The family of Vanessa M. (last name withheld due to Make a Wish policy) gathered together for a Disney send off with Ariel and Prince Eric from Vanessa’s favorite Disney Movie, “The Little Mermaid.”
In addition to a Disney World send off, Prince Eric and Ariel were on site for the send off and Vanessa was also presented with a very special painting that depicted her as Ariel. The Crazy 8 store also presented the family with gift cards to do some shopping for their trip.
“YES!” Vanessa loudly said when asked if she wanted to do some shopping Sunday morning.
The Blaine family of five heads to Disney World in just two weeks and it will be their first vacation and the kids’ first airplane ride. “I’m excited but a little nervous,” Vanessa’s dad Patrick said Sunday morning. “I’ve done a lot of traveling but never with the whole family.”
Four year old Vanessa has hydrocephalous, a condition in which the primary characteristic is excess fluid on the brain. Hydrocephalous is typically treated with a shunt, Vanessa has already gone through nine of those procedures in her short life. It’s estimated that nearly 1 in every 1,000 infants born will have hydrocephalous. The Make a Wish foundation is for children with life-threatening illnesses between the ages of 2-and-a-half to 18 years of age.
Many times the granting of wishes helps children through rough treatments and or surgeries and also combats depression, according to wish maker Cindy Mendel.
The Sunday morning event — which had the Crazy 8 store decorated like an Under The Sea adventure — was an event two months in the making. Crazy 8, which is a Gymboree Brand store, is the first of the company to host a Make a Wish event on its property and was thrilled and excited for the opportunity.
“It’s been a fun experience and a long time in the making,” district manager Terisa Wagner said of the two months of planning that went into the event.
For more information on the Minnesota Make a Wish foundation, visit their website at http://www.mn-wish.org.