Paragould, AR -- Thousands of people all across Region 8 recently opened their wallets to help fund "wishes" of children facing life-threatening illnesses or those whose lives are made difficult because of their health. Now, the power of a wish became known to a very special young lady and all those around her.
It's not every day that Mickey and all his Disney friends make an appearance Greene County Tech Elementary School. But still unsuspecting fourth grader Mallory Wilson thought nothing of it. Behind her family members waited anxiously-- they knew something exciting was about to happen. She and her family found out amid the shrieks and screams of her friends that she would be headed to Disney World.
"It was precious to see her face," said Carla Wilson, Mallory's mother. "But her friends' faces and all the classmates. Nobody knew... Nobody knew."
The secret was well kept--until it was decided that Mallory's one true wish would be granted: a vacation for her, her mother, aunt, her twin sister, Madison, and her older twin brother and sister Hunter and Megan.
"I just sat there and cried," said Madison Wilson, Mallory's twin sister. "I couldn't believe it."
Diagnosed with cerebral palsy at an early age, Mallory has faced numerous challenges--she's not able to walk. Her spastic muscles make it difficult to complete schoolwork. Yet Mallory makes good grades and her classroom aide says attitude is everything with Mallory.
"She doesn't get to have the same recess as everybody else," said Crystal Andrew, Mallory's classroom aide. "She doesn't get to write the stories that she wants to write. But, she is so lucky. I wish every kid had her attitude because she sees all the things she can do."
Taking care of Mallory is a family affair. Her siblings realize she has special needs and every one pitches in.
"We get up at 5 o'clock," said Hunter Wilson, Mallory's brother. "Get Mallory's backpack ready. We make sure she has everything that she needs."
Because they concentrate so much on what has to be done everyday... The Wilsons haven't been on a family vacation since Mallory was 3 years old. This trip to Disney World is a dream come true.
"Whenever like Mallory's situation there's always doctors and there's always medical teams around you, you get to escape all of it and just enjoy like life's supposed to be," said Kendra Street, Mallory's Make-A-Wish Volunteer.
Kendra should know. She had her wish granted in 2002 when she was battling Hodgkin's lymphoma. She's in remission today.
Greene county tech students, teachers and parents raised the money for the week long trip.
"She is ready to go," explains an enthusiastic Carla. "She wants to go on the water rides. So we're praying that it's warm down there and she gets to go."