Scarlett gets to meet Mickey

Every little girl dreams of being a princess- dressing up in beautiful gowns, having extravagant hair-dos, and attending the most fabulous balls. Scarlett Unrast’s dream of being a princess looked a little different when she was diagnosed at the age of 1 with Neuroblastoma. Neuroblastoma is a rare cancer that develops from immature nerve cells found in several areas of the body. As a result of treatment, Scarlett’s reality became hospital gowns, hair loss, and frequent doctor appointments. She spent her time during treatment watching Disney movies, mesmerized by the princesses.

The Unrast family was connected to the Dayton Chapter of A Special Wish Foundation (ASW) through Dayton Children’s Hospital. Scarlett’s wish was to go to Walt Disney World. Scarlett chose this wish because “every little girl wants to see princesses,” stated her mom, Lindsey. When Scarlett’s wish was granted, the Unrast family went out to eat where the news was shared with the whole family. Scarlett was ecstatic to go to Walt Disney World!

At the enchanting Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Magic Kingdom, Scarlett’s dream of becoming a princess came true! The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, is a place where children are pampered and primped by Fairy Godmothers-in-Training, until they are transformed into beautiful, storybook princesses. Lindsey explained, “She was used to not having hair. So, when they put the fake hair on her, she looked and felt like a movie star. If you would’ve seen her face, it was priceless.” The family also enjoyed the thrill of the many rides at the Disney parks. Lindsey shared, “It was nice to not have to wait in any lines. She had an Aladdin necklace that allowed us to ride any ride.” Without that necklace, Scarlett would not have been able to experience as much of what Walt Disney World has to offer. But, the trip was not just memorable for Scarlett. Lindsey shared, “Our whole family had fun!”

While visiting Walt Disney World, the family stayed at Give Kids the World Village. People say that Walt Disney World is the most magical place on earth. While that is undeniably true, Give Kids the World Village is a close second! Give Kids the World Village is an 84-acre resort with 166 villa accommodations for families to stay in while on Wish trips. The village is equipped with a Castle of Miracles, Julie’s Safari Theatre, Marc’s Dino-Putt, Happy Harbor Fishing Pond, an interactive water park and wheelchair-accessible pool, a train to transport families around the village, an ice cream parlor, and so much more. Lindsey shared, “The staff there are mostly volunteers. They were incredibly helpful.”

A diagnosis like Neuroblastoma brings a lot of despair, hardship, and exhaustion to families like the Unrasts. Although the journey is never easy through life-threatening illnesses, families often learn valuable life lessons from their children. For Lindsey, her perspective on life was changed. “You realize that the little things that frustrated you don’t matter anymore. You see little kids fighting for their lives and it breaks your heart.”

A Special Wish Foundation aims to bring a little bit of joy to these tragic experiences. A Special Wish Foundation- Dayton grants approximately 50 wishes a year to children, just like Scarlett, in the Dayton and surrounding region. ASW also offers other fun activities for Wish families throughout the year. Lindsey stated, “It is such a nice organization. It is special that they give these kids the opportunity to do ‘normal’ things. You want to pay it forward after you’ve received this gift.”

Please join ASW today by making a donation (https://www.aspecialwishdayton.org/donate-now) and help grant the Special Wish of a local child battling for their life. All funds raised stay here in the Dayton Region benefiting local children.

A Special Wish Foundation-Dayton is the only wish granting organization located in the Dayton region and has been making special wishes come true since 1983. For more information on how you can be a part of granting a local child’s wish, please visit aspecialwishdayton.org or call 937-223-WISH (9474).