Paragould child awaits her one true wish

Published: Feb. 17, 2022 at 9:16 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 17, 2022 at 9:47 PM CST
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PARAGOULD, Ark. (KAIT) - So, what’s in a wish? You’ve heard us talk about Make-A-Wish and the Have-A-Heart Wishathon many times on Region 8 News. But, you probably never thought about the hundreds of children awaiting wishes.

Six-year-old Lora Woodring is one of them.

“I’d like my bunk beds over there and my stage over here,” Lora tells me on a recent trip to her home.

“Did you lose a tooth?” I asked her. Lora nodded.

“She gave me a dollar,” Lora said.

You’d never think that Lora the entertainer....

“This is a family,” she sings a song from the Disney movie, Encanto.

In fact, Lora knows just about anything Disney-related.

“This is the baby Yoda sucker holder,” she pointed out.

She loves simple things.

“So you get your nails done?” I asked her.

Lora is dealing with something far more complicated than this world of make-believe.

“I have to take methotrexate by mouth and it tastes gross,” Lora said as she looked away from the camera.

It’s all part of a life that changed right as the entire world was grinding to a halt in March 2020 due to the pandemic.

“When I first went to St. Jude, we found out that I was diagnosed with cancer,” Lora said. Her big brown eyes looking matter-of-factly about it.

It’s called Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, or ALL.

“Your hemoglobin normally is anywhere from 11 to 15. Hers was 2,” Suzie said.

Since then, life has changed dramatically.

Lora began treatment, lost her hair and has undergone many surgeries.

“The thing I don’t like about St. Jude is the procedures....when they put me to sleep,” Lora said.

“How many times has that happened?” I asked.

“A lot,” she said.

“Did you ever dream as a parent you would be in this place where your child knows terms that some adults don’t understand?” I asked Suzie Woodring, Lora’s mother.

“Absolutely not,” she shakes her head.

And in the midst of it all came Make-A-Wish.

“So I won’t lie,” Suzie said. “At first we were approached by a friend when she first started going through and I was upset I was like... getting a wish-granting for terminal kids. Like my kid is going to make it.” She wiped away a stream of tears at the revelation.

But a dear friend told Suzie that wishes are for any child battling a critical illness.

A wish allows them to just be a kid.

“It’s fun to watch her get so excited about it,” Suzie said.

The wish, when it happens, will involve transforming this room, an upstairs bonus room into a little girl apartment.

“I love polka dots in the room and butterflies on the wall and all the pretty insects,” Lora said. “I imagined a lot of stuff up here like bunk beds over there. Stage over here and dress-up place.”

A wish tailor-made for a little girl who has spent two years just struggling to survive.

“I can’t wait for when one of these days my wish comes true,” Lora said.

She knows it will come from Make-A-Wish.

“They are about kids and also when you get a wish, it makes you think about all the happy stuff and not the grown-up stuff you have to go through,” Lora said.

“That’s the cool thing about Make-A-Wish. If they can dream it, Make-A-Wish can probably do it.

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