"When I look at Monica, I see a precious little girl that never complains and is as tough as a tiger. I could look at her for hours trying to absorb her beauty." - Wish Dad Ben
Monica and her dad Ben have always had a close, loving relationship. They have silly conversations and play silly games. They share a passion for soccer and love to create art together. Since her diagnosis with Thyroid Cancer last year, Ben couldn't love his little princess any more. He realizes now that "every moment is an opportunity to make a positive impact on her life. Each experience I hold dear."
When Make-A-Wish Missouri volunteer Wish Granters met with Monica and her family, they were still processing the devastating diagnosis that they had received just months before. The family had been shaken up by this unexpected hurdle, but they were closer than ever before and their love for each other could be seen by any outsider. As Monica described her wish to go to Disney World, everyone's eyes lit up with the realization that they could spend a week away from home, away from the hospital, just together as a family.
Monica described her wish as if she were describing a fairytale. She wanted to transform into a princess just like her favorites: Ariel, Elsa and Snow White, and meet them in their castle. With a special event coming up, Make-A-Wish Missouri staff saw the perfect opportunity to transform Monica into one of the princesses she had always dreamed of becoming, with a little help from generous Make-A-Wish donors and Prince Charming...
On a Monday in May, Monica arrived at the Make-A-Wish Missouri Golf Classic without any knowledge of how this special day was going to unfold. With a princess dress and her first clue in hand, her magical quest began. Throughout the day, Monica completed a set of riddles, puzzles and games, all of which earned her another clue and another piece of her princess outfit. After getting Make-A-Wish golfers to correctly guess her drawing of Ariel, stopping four soccer goals, sniffing out the chocolate cake and solving a math equation, Monica's princess transformation was almost complete. All that was left was hair and makeup, and oh yes, the ball! At dinner, princess Monica and her family were treated to a big surprise when Monica's dad, Ben, appeared out of nowhere not just as dad, but as Prince Charming, donning a crown and sporting a princely jacket. He then had the pleasure of telling his beautiful princess that her one, true heartfelt wish was coming true!
According to Wish Dad Ben, "Monica was blown away by the whole experience. She truly felt as important as she is...like a little princess." And how did Dad feel about his role as Prince Charming? "To be the prince announcing that her wish was coming true was a beautiful experience and yet another positive experience to share."
Monica and her family look forward to their Wish Trip in late June, as this will be their first ever family vacation. "This wish will provide our family with some balance, countering the changes and experiences we have and will endure. I expect this experience will be filled with moments that will be precious memories which we will all treasure," said Wish Dad Ben.
Photos by Kim Brady Photography
Video by bottledmotion