During a time when she should have been planning for her future and preparing for her driving test, fifteen-year-old Caitlyn was shocked when doctors diagnosed her with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It felt like her world was crashing down around her, and the uncertainty of her future felt stifling.
Caitlyn was an accomplished student and aspiring actress; she feared her diagnosis threatened to take all of those things away, and more.
Caitlyn watched from afar as her friends celebrated their sweet sixteen birthdays, received their driver’s licenses and tasted the independence that young adolescence provides. Instead of celebrating this independence and enjoying a carefree season of life, Caitlyn endured aggressive chemotherapy and held tightly to her family as she felt the weight and severity of her illness growing ever stronger.
It was during this difficult season that Caitlyn made two new friends who brought with them good news of brighter days ahead: her volunteer wish granters from Make-A-Wish®. Clark and Melissa were the perfect ray of sunshine for Caitlyn at a time she needed it most. They told her to dream big and think about her most heartfelt wish; a welcomed distraction from thoughts of chemotherapy or medication.
After thinking through her options and considering a few ideas, Caitlyn determined a trip to London was exactly what she wanted. She had long admired the culture and history, and a chance to see this amazing city in person would be a dream come true. Clark and Melissa went to work to engage the beautiful Mandarin Oriental, who graciously hosted a surprise Wish Reveal High Tea for Caitlyn and her family, complete with special guests, Kim and Dana Wagner of News 3 Today. Caitlyn could hardly believe her ears when she learned her wish was coming true; the thought of her wish coming true had gotten her through long days and painful treatments, and now it was actually happening!
A few weeks after her High Tea, Caitlyn and her family were bound for London. Following a limo ride to the airport and a direct flight, their first stop was a visit to Windsor Castle, complete with a private tour. For the next week, Caitlyn enjoyed all the sights and sounds London had to offer. These included the Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle, a private tour of the Tower of London, a trip to see the Crown Jewels, shopping trips at Harrod’s department store, Oxford Circus and even a showing of the theatrical play, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! Overall, Caitlyn’s wish come true provided hope during her treatments and now provides endless joy-filled memories that are sure to last a lifetime.
A special thanks to the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas and KSNV News 3’s Kim and Dana Wagner.