Like most North Dakotans, Maria often dreams of warmer weather and constant sunshine. That is why when she was referred to Make-A-Wish® North Dakota by her physician, she knew that her wish would be to go somewhere that had just that.
Maria, and 11-year-old girl from Thompson, ND has cystic fibrosis. This life-threatening medical condition is chronic and can easily become the center of a child’s life. Because of this, it is important for children, like Maria, to focus on being a “normal” kid as much as possible. That’s why Maria’s wish was such a great opportunity for her and her family!
Maria’s one true wish was to go to the Atlantis® Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas. Having seen so many ads on TV, Maria knew that she wanted to experience the fun, tropical locale for herself. She and the rest of family experienced a once-in-a-lifetime adventure while there.
They had the opportunity to visit Dolphin Cay, a shallow water interaction location, where Maria got to go nose-to-bottlenose with some friendly and energetic dolphins, her favorite animals. And her aquatic fun didn’t stop there!
Atlantis provides the excitement of countless water slide and swimming attractions, so it’s safe to say that Maria and her family enjoyed a good amount of warm weather and sunshine as well as creating lifelong memories during their trip.
Aside from all of the water fun, Maria and her family were able to spend quality time as a family. Julie, Maria’s mom, said that one of her favorite parts of the trip was being disconnected from the outside world and technology. “My family was all right there so we didn’t have to worry about emergencies. It was nice to get away and have that quality time together.”
Since the trip there have been several ups and downs for Maria and her family. Besides the everyday challenges that come with cystic fibrosis, Maria has undergone surgeries due to troubles with her knees. The family also has grown by one when Maria’s baby brother Jack was born. Although life has become even more eventful with a family of five, Julie says that the family has been healthy and doing well.