Daisy is just like the rest of us: When we’re not able to travel, we transport ourselves to a new place through stories and books. But for Daisy, reading has been a sanctuary through tough times.
At just 5 years old, Daisy was diagnosed with a painful hereditary gastrointestinal disorder that causes thousands (or even millions) of potentially cancerous polyps in the digestive system. Now 12, Daisy has endured an onslaught of stomach aches and infections, school absences, and surgeries to treat her condition.
Through it all, Daisy kept reading. Her favorite fantasy books and stories about animals helped form her wish to go to a real-life fantasy: Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. For Daisy, the pools, library, and animals there are paradise.
She needs your help to get there.
Thrifty Traveler is partnering with Make-A-Wish Minnesota to help make Daisy’s wish come true. Together, we’re aiming to raise at least 2 million frequent flyer miles this week for kids like Daisy suffering critical illnesses who just need a break and a dose of hope. Read more on our mileage drive with Make-A-Wish Minnesota and see how you can help!
Whether you’ve got miles that are expiring soon, sitting unused, or just want to make a struggling child’s day, please help us change lives by donating to Make-A-Wish Minnesota today. Anyone who donates more than 50,000 miles will be entered in a giveaway for a $500 Delta gift card, courtesy of Thrifty Traveler.
Facing Fear with Family … And Fiction
The condition that defined Daisy’s childhood wasn’t new to her family. Daisy was the third generation of the family to be diagnosed, but that didn’t make the news any easier to swallow.
Daisy’s mother, Brittany, remembers being sat down by the doctor and being shown pictures of her daughter’s large intestine, already carpeted with millions of polyps. They broke the news to the rest of the family slowly that day.
The diagnosis affected their family right away. Brittany immediately became a stay-at-home mom, eventually homeschooling Daisy from second grade through fourth grade, when the symptoms from her condition were too disruptive for school.
But the condition never disrupted Daisy’s voracious reading.
“She has a huge passion for reading and that passion has helped her mentally cope with everything she’s been through!” Brittany said.
While the polyps inside Daisy’s digestive system were benign, they would eventually become cancerous without treatment. So in 2017, Daisy had surgery to remove her large intestine. She lived with an ostomy bag for months, until a second surgery allowed her to return to school.
A Dream for Daisy
It was during that first surgery when Daisy and her family first heard of Make-A-Wish Minnesota.
Daisy immediately dreamed of visiting Atlantis in the Bahamas: warm sun, so many pools, and a library where she could find rows of the fantasy books she loves and stories about her favorite animals.
And we’ve got to hand it to Daisy: She’s done her research. She hopes to visit the rehabilitation center for aquatic animals.
“That made me happy that they are helping homeless animals,” she said. “I am looking forward to swimming in all the different pools.”
For Daisy’s family, the trip would be a chance to see their daughter do more of what she loves – swimming, exploring the library, and seeing all of her favorite animals in real life. When her condition was at its worse, that felt far away.
“Being able to experience this trip as a family where we can just enjoy our time together and make unforgettable memories means the world to us,” Brittany, Daisy’s mother, said.