Samantha’s Story – ‘I wish to go to my favourite theme park’

Submitted photo. Samantha, age 7, cancer.

Samantha, age 7, cancer

Samantha doesn’t have a favourite season. She loves them all. The cool winter air dictates soft knit accessories in her favourite colours, teal and blue. Spring sees the snow recede and the emergence of green grass and fresh smells for her Schnauzer, Hexley. The high sun of summer offers the seven-year-old afternoons of building sandcastles or swimming in a warm lake. Fall ushers in colourful, crunchy leaves and marks the beginning of the NHL, NFL, and NBA seasons. Samantha, a fan of all three sports, supports her beloved teams with her parents Kimberly and Kirby at her side.

In 2021, Samantha was diagnosed with Burkitt Lymphoma. The rare and fast-growing cancer devastated the family. “We saw our kiddo almost die in our arms and then saw her fight with everything she had to beat Burkitt’s Lymphoma,” Kimberley recalled. Samantha underwent bowel surgery and an aggressive chemotherapy regimen for four months. A few months after treatment, Samantha’s wish to visit her favourite theme park came true. The family stayed at Give Kids the World Village, a non-profit resort in Kissimmee, Florida.

During the trip, there was no conversation about being sick or being in the hospital, Kimberley said. “All you ever want is for your child to be healthy and happy and this trip has left a profound impact on us as a family and on her,” she said. “Her smile is what we needed”.

Hope is essential for children with critical illnesses, and its life-changing power is unlocked when wishes like Samantha’s are granted. Together we can continue to transform lives, one wish at a time.