From the time Caitlin was eight years old, she dreamed of one day having a Quinceañera similar to that of her older sister’s. To many Hispanic families, a Quinceañera is more than just a birthday party. It’s a time for parents to celebrate and honor their daughters. Caitlin never imagined that seven years later, Make-A-Wish would make her special wish come true.
After Caitlin was diagnosed with leukemia at age 14, she spent countless days in the hospital undergoing treatment and therapy. Her parents worried they wouldn’t be able to give Caitlin the party of her dreams. But fate took over, and Caitlin was referred to Make-A-Wish as her 15th birthday was quickly approaching. When Make-A-Wish met with her, she knew without a doubt in her mind, that her wish was to have an all-orange Quinceañera. Everything had to be orange! She wanted an orange candy buffet, an orange cake, orange flowers, and orange butterflies as decor. She dreamed about having a DJ who would play her favorite Mexican music so that she could dance the night away and a photo booth to pose for pictures with her family and friends.
While in the hospital for a month, Caitlin anticipated her special birthday. Envisioning her wish coming true allowed her keep fighting her condition. Her mom said, “Talking about her party and all the things she imagined motivated her to be stronger and keep fighting through the treatment. She never stopped talking about her Quinceañera.”
When the big day finally arrived, Caitlin had no idea what to expect. Thinking the event would be at her house, she was surprised to see a party bus arriving to take her and her family to the magical night Make-A-Wish had planned. Upon arriving at a beautiful country club, Caitlin stepped out of the bus in her sparkly orange dress and immediately started posing for the camera. As she walked into the banquet room, Caitlin couldn’t believe her eyes when she realized that her all-orange fairytale had come true.
All of her guests cheered as she made her grand entrance to the center of the dance floor with her chambelan (escort of honor) and her father. Caitlin then danced a very touching waltz with her father and participated in the other traditional Quinceañera customs that symbolize Caitlin’s transition from a little girl to a young woman. Caitlin says her favorite part was when her dad serenaded her with a very special song. It was yet another unexpected surprise that fulfilled her one true wish. Caitlin loved being the center of attention, but she especially enjoyed watching everyone else have a good time.
With a smile from ear to ear and tears of joy in her eyes, Caitlin took a moment to thank everyone for joining her on this unforgettable day and to express her infinite love for her family. A long-awaited wish turned into a special memory that will forever live in her heart and in the hearts of all of those who experienced Caitlin’s wish. To this day, Caitlin’s mom continues to express her gratitude and says, “Caitlin’s Quinceañera is a day that brought pure joy to our entire family. Caitlin constantly talks about her party, and she gets very happy when she thinks about her all-orange wish coming true.”