Brooklyn takes on Walt Disney World

“Mommy, I just want to cut it all off,” said Brooklyn Canterbury, after her hair started to fall off during treatment. Brooklyn was diagnosed in 2015 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, which is a childhood cancer. It occurs when there is an error in the DNA of a bone marrow cell. While in treatment for cancer, Brooklyn also underwent two different surgeries for a port. After the first surgery, her port got infected and had to be removed. During treatment, Brooklyn exemplified immense bravery when she decided to cut off her own hair. “She was beautiful,” shared her mother, Angel.

Brooklyn and her mother were referred to A Special Wish Foundation- Dayton (ASW) by a family member. ASW granted Brooklyn’s Wish and sent Angel, Omar (mom’s fiancé), and Brooklyn to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. When Brooklyn found out that her Wish was going to be granted, “She was over-the-moon excited,” Angel remembered. Upon arrival at the airport in Orlando, Brooklyn recalled, “They had a sign that had my name. It made me feel special. They made my mom feel special too because they carried her bag around!” Angel recollected arriving at Give Kids the World Village, “We never had anybody who wouldn’t smile and say hello.” At Walt Disney World, Brooklyn enjoyed the Avatar ride in Animal Kingdom. She also loved meeting every character, but especially, “Belle, Beast, the girl with the curly, orange hair (Princess Merida), and my favorite minion- Bob! He has one goggle and one eye.”

Angel stated, “It was a wonderful experience. Special Wish gave us extra money to spend. That was a blessing. It was nice to be able to get Brooklyn different things. Because of the extra money, Brooklyn got to go indoor sky-diving, which was also on her list.” Brooklyn reminisced about her sky-diving experience, “Me and Omar got to fly! It had a lot of wind. I got to fly around. And I wasn’t scared! I’m afraid of heights, but I wasn’t scared!” When asked why she wanted to go sky-diving, Brooklyn said, “Well, I saw Jo-Jo do it, so I thought that I could be brave like Jo-Jo!” Jo-Jo Siwa is an American dancer, singer, actress, and YouTube star. With a fear of heights, this young girl yet again exemplified immense bravery.

Brooklyn shared about her favorite part, “Every part! Every place we went- I loved it. My wish made me feel like 60 thumbs-up!” Angel also shared, “They made us feel like very important people.”

Thankfully, Brooklyn finished treatment in May 2017 and is not in remission. When she found out that her hair was not going to fall out again, her mom stated, “She cried because she was so happy. That’s something I’ll always remember. We just made it through. Just me and her. Looking back, I’m just thankful that she made it now.”

Experiences like Brooklyn’s cause many hardships for young children and their entire families. A Special Wish Foundation- Dayton Chapter aims to give these children a time and a place to remember how to just be kids and to enjoy time with their families. Angel talks about their experience with ASW, “Special Wish was so impactful in our lives. They gave us relaxation and fun. To see how happy she was and the smile on her face- it’s something I’ll always remember.” A Special Wish Foundation- Dayton grants approximately 50 wishes a year to children, just like Brooklyn, in the Dayton and surrounding region.

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).