My name is Abigail Brown. I'm 16 years old, and I have Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy. Over the years it hasn't been easy, weeks to months in the hospital, losing muscle mass and having to be in a wheelchair, then going through physical therapy in order to get back on my feet. It's been hard; even calling it hard is quite the understatement. When you go through experiences such as this, a disease or illness, there is one thing that holds everything together: Family. And that’s what my Wish was centered on.
I am one of 10 kids. My family has fostered and adopted for many years, and most of my siblings have special needs as well. Before coming to my decision, I thought a lot about what makes me happy and drives me as an individual. Material items don't have much meaning to me in life, because objects are fleeting, so that was clearly out of the question haha. But memories, memories live in your heart and mind forever. Especially ones created with those you love.
My family has been my backbone for as long as I can remember. If I fell, they picked up the pieces and held my hand through the rough patches. For my wish I chose to go to Hawaii, quite the feat with such a large and diverse group of people. I had high expectations, but I can tell you this--they were blown out of the water. This became more than a Wish, more than a simple vacation. I'll forever hold the moments I spent with my family dear to my heart. The looks on my siblings faces as they played in the ocean for the first time, and the moment my little sister realized Mickey Mouse too wears gloves, just like she has to because of her eczema.
This Wish became bigger than me, bigger than what I expected and hoped for. It became sitting back and watching these beautiful moments unfold, and experiencing the undeniable happiness they brought me. Everything around me froze, like an idyllic scene in a movie. Because for once my family didn't have to worry about planning, and money, and whether or not all members of my family would be happy. The impact it had on myself, my siblings, and my parents was amazing.
My family went to the beach, we toured Pearl Harbor, we laughed, we tried new things we never considered before, and we opened our eyes; getting to know each other better than we had ever before. I didn't realize how much I as a person needed this, nor how much my family did. But this Wish has forever changed my life, and my family for the better. Bringing us closer, giving us memories to cherish and look back on together.
I will be forever grateful for this opportunity and the impact it had on my life.