Kiley Sullivan, a first-grader at Duffy Elementary School in West Hartford, received the full princess treatment before departing for Disney World, courtesy of Make-A-Wish.
By Ronni Newton
Six-year-old Kiley Sullivan knew that she was heading to Disney World on Saturday morning for her Make-A-Wish trip, but neither she nor her sister Allie had any idea that the organization would treat them to a send-off fit for a princess.
Kiley, a first-grader who was diagnosed with the rare childhood cancer Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma just two weeks after her fifth birthday in April 2014, was met by a horsedrawn carriage, complete with driver, footman, and a small dog, and whisked away from Duffy Elementary School Friday afternoon to begin her princess-worthy Disney adventure courtesy of Make-A-Wish.
“Kiley knows we are leaving Saturday morning,” Emily Sullivan, Kiley’s mom, said earlier in the week. They were already expecting the limo that would pick them up early Saturday morning to catch their flight. But the family had no idea that Make-A-Wish liked to make such a big deal out of the send off.
“We get a police escort and ride all the way home,” Emily Sullivan said of the horsedrawn carriage.
The cold rain that began falling on Friday afternoon did not at all dampen the reaction that Emily and Allie had when they walked out of Duffy and saw the horsedrawn carriage.
Kiley’s eyes lit up with glee when she saw the horses and the rig. Allie declared it “the best day of her life”! The entire first grade as well as Allie’s class cheered and waved as the family headed home in the horsedrawn carriage to begin their adventure.
The “princess” theme is a big part of the Sullivan’s life. Emily set up a Facebook page called “Princess Kiley” after her daughter was diagnosed with the rare cancer, and has used the page to chronicle the experience and keep friends informed.
“Kiley is doing well, and it’s amazing that she is feeling good enough to go,” Emily said of the Disney trip. Kiley has been having incessant itching in her eyes caused by her medication, but the reaction has recently been brought under control.
Kiley has finished her initial treatment for the disease but will have another set of scans on Oct. 13, after the trip. “Let’s just hope they’re clear,” she said.
For more information about Kiley’s treatment and recovery, click here to visit the “Princess Kiley” Facebook community.
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