While many girls her age spent the last couple of years thinking about and planning their quinceañera parties, Paola was busy going to treatments for her illness. So, volunteers and Make-A-Wish staff got to work on planning a wish that would mean the world.
“When I first found out I had cancer, I broke down. It was very hard for me to take it in,” said Paola. “I just had to face the fact and go through it. You have to live life.”
Paola’s mom, Raquel, couldn’t have been happier watching her daughter prepare for her special day. Paola entered her personal dressing room set up with an array of dresses and shoes chosen specifically for her to try on. Her smile was unstoppable.
Paola picked out a beautiful dress and tiara. “I’ve been dreaming about a quinceañera since I was young,” she said. “It’s a very warm feeling that there are people out there to make other people’s day better.”
Paola’s wish came true when she celebrated her quinceañera, an important rite of passage for Latina girls. But, it wasn’t just because of the big, formal dress, tiara, tall cake or her own court of honor.
Paola was no longer a girl fighting cancer – she was a normal girl looking radiant and healthy.
“This wish was special to her because it not only signifies her transition from childhood into womanhood; it also signifies the progress of her health from bad to good,” Raquel said.