Because of her challenging medical condition, Sarah’s daily life is very different from other pre-teens. She has to take medicine before and after every meal and take naps in the middle of the day due to low energy levels. However, there are a few things that help Sarah find comfort and take her mind off of her illness and all of them are related to France - baking French desserts, trying French food, watching movies about France, and the list goes on!
Since Sarah learned about France, she couldn’t get Paris out of her head. "I've always been a little obsessed with Paris," she said. “Okay, more than a little. The culture, the language - I want to see the Eiffel Tower and masterpieces at Louvre, that's the biggest thing. And yes, try real French macarons and crepes!”
Little did she know, that a visit to her favorite Laduree macaron shop at The Grove would turn into a surprise trip to Paris. Thinking she was going to be treated to some delicious macarons by her mom, Sarah was instead welcomed by Make-A-Wish volunteers wearing French berets and holding a sign that read “Bon Voyage, Sarah. You are going to Paris!”. The customers who witnessed the surprise cheered and clapped and Sarah had a genuine look of pure surprise and excitement on her face. It truly felt like a “big moment!”
Sarah couldn’t contain her excitement as she boarded the plane for the first time in her life. She didn’t even notice how long the trip was and before she knew it, she landed in the city of her dreams. Sarah and her family started their French adventure with a tour to the Louvre museum, where Sarah saw world-famous works of art she always dreamed of seeing, such as the Mona Lisa, Venus of Milo, Winged Victory of Samothrace and many more. Sarah was fascinated to see the symbol of the City of Light, the Eiffel Tower. It felt like a fairy tale since she had previously only seen it in the movies. Sarah spent the next few days visiting sites in Paris and walking around the Seine. She had amazing food (the crepes were her favorite…and croissants…and the macarons). "Paris is not just a city, it's an ultimate experience, it is beauty and it is hope,” she said. Visiting the place she always wanted to see made Sarah forget about her challenges and enjoy her childhood like other kids her age. All in all, Sarah may have indulged in one too many Parisian desserts but she hasn’t been to any place that could bring her so much love and joy as Paris did. We’re positive that Sarah will carry the incredible experience she had in France with her for her entire life.
* Sarah's wish made possible with the generous donation and support from our friends at Thale Blanc.