At the age of 15, Virginia’s life as your typical teenage girl was put on hold as she underwent treatments for cancer. Her parents and two sisters, Jane Carter and Nancy, were her biggest cheerleaders and became devoted to Virginia’s fight to get better. Her family was therefore overjoyed when Virginia learned she would receive a wish! Virginia, of course, was full of joy and excitement, too!
Her wish to go to the Grand Canyon gave Virginia and her family a much-needed respite, a chance to escape and experience sheer joy!
The family’s adventure began bright and early at 4:00 am when they were picked up by a limousine for a ride to the airport. Once arriving in Phoenix, Virginia enjoyed seeing many Spanish signs and hearing Spanish songs on the radio, as she is learning and loves the Spanish language! After some fun time in the pool and a spicy Mexican dinner that first night, the family went to bed to rest up for their visit to the Grand Canyon the next morning!
The next day, Virginia and her family spent the day at the Canyon, taking in multiple viewpoints and driving all around the rim. In Virginia’s own words:
“The next morning we literally jumped out of bed and began our drive to Grand Canyon…When I saw my first view of the Grand Canyon, well, let me just tell you, it brought me to tears. Who knew that something so beautiful and colorful and wild could even exist? I feel so blessed that I was able to see what I am certain is one of the most beautiful places in the world.”
The family also got to enjoy the Canyon from the sky above during a helicopter ride, and from within during a rafting tour! Virginia shared, “Seeing the Canyon from above felt like a whole different experience than looking at it from the rim. I could see the Colorado River so clearly, and it was easy to spot each and every crevice of the Canyon.” The rafting tour was their final and favorite adventure of the trip. During the tour, they saw petroglyphic rock art and floated all the way down the river to Horseshoe Bend.
In addition to visiting the Grand Canyon, while out West, the family, also got to visit the Hoover Dam, eat at the restaurant El Tovar (one of Teddy Roosevelt’s favorites!), go on a helicopter ride, and visit Bearizona Wildlife Park!
In a heartfelt note after her wish, Virginia expressed her gratitude: “I thank you from the bottom of my heart for making my wish come true. I will never forget all of the ways you have affected my life. I had the best time of my life at the Grand Canyon.”
Thanks to caring supporters like you, kids like Virginia with critical illnesses get to experience the best time of their lives, so far. We know that a wish often has healing power. It is the medicine that gives our wish kids the strength, hope, and joy to fight their illnesses, so they can live a healthy life of best times ahead, beyond their wish.