Disneyland dream becomes a reality

Gathered in West Kelowna, Sunshine Foundation makes a wish come true for a local family

Alia Essington will soon be enjoying her dream trip to Disneyland thanks to the Sunshine Foundation.

Alia, along with her family and friends, gathered at the West Kelowna Winners Sunday to celebrate her surprise dream trip that her parents kept secret.

“Alia loves everything Frozen,” Bev Kenzie, a volunteer with the Sunshine Foundation, said in a presentation. “In fact she dresses as Anna or Elsa, or some days she changes from one outfit into the other. She’s been asking her parents for a chance to visit Disneyland so she can visit Anna and Elsa at their castle.”

Alia was born with a genetic disorder and has lately been in the hospital for illnesses such as pneumonia, which has delayed the surprise Disneyland trip. She can move under her own power, but uses a stroller for longer walks that she will use for the trip.

As Alia mingled with family, Disney princesses Anna and Elsa themselves arrived for the surprise, as Alia yelled, “Anna!” and approached her Disney idols.

Once the PA revealed the secret Disneyland surprise trip, Alia was too stunned to react, but once she approached a big box full of travel bags and other Frozen goodies for the trip, she screamed in joy and excitement for what is to come. Alia and her family were scheduled to leave for Disneyland Tuesday.

“She’s infatuated with Frozen and Elsa and Anna and she really wanted to go see their castle,” said Alia’s father Chris Essington. “It should be amazing; I am so excited for her. I can’t believe it.”

While Alia may be the most excited, the family is certainly looking forward to the trip to California.

“It’s heart melting,” Chris said. “It’s just amazing.”

“It brought tears to my eyes, it really did,” Kenzie said. “It sounds like she’s been through quite a bit with her health, and to see a young child with a life-threatening illness and disability to fulfill their dream, what happier thing is there?”

Canadians throughout Canada can request a dream from the Sunshine Foundation. The request goes to a committee in Ontario where they work with six to seven families at a time to help fulfill the wishes of the children.

In October, the Sunshine Foundation helped another Okanagan girl, Elise Boisvert, achieve her dream of a Caribbean cruise where she can swim in warm waters that eases her severe joint pain.

Since 1987, Sunshine has fulfilled dreams for over 8,000 Canadian kids living with disabilities or illnesses.

Since the partnership began, Winners and HomeSense customers and associates have raised over $8.6 million for Sunshine.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Central Okanagan trustees approve salary hike

Increase to off-set loss of tax-free income benefit

New Lake Country middle school named after inspirational teacher

Central Okanagan school board settles on H.S. Grenda Middle School

B.C. Tree Fruits searching for new CEO and CFO

Top job postings at growers’ cooperative listed quietly at the end of November

Deadline looming for participation in Okanagan Travel Survey

Those who were sent survey questionnaires have until Dec. 18 to complete and return them

Submissions sought for UBC Okanagan’s annual fiction competition

University’s annual short-story contest enters its 21st year

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Single-bridge option chosen to replace Highway 1 bridge in Sicamous

Five-lane span selected over plan with second bridge at Sicamous’ Main Street

UPDATE: Highway 1 closed east of Revelstoke, expected to open at 7:30 p.m.

Highway 1 is closed east of Revelstoke near the west entrance to… Continue reading

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

Another B.C. city votes to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

Most Read