Living with terminal cancer means living with the unknown… and the inevitable.
Stephanie and Andrew McGuire of Brentwood, Tennessee don’t know how much time they have left with their little girl, Adalyn. Adalyn was just 3 years old when she was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), an aggressive brain tumor that comes with a very bad prognosis.
For the past year, Adalyn has bravely fought her brain tumor. She spent six weeks in the hospital getting 30 rounds of radiation nearly every day. Even as she lost some of her hair, she insisted on wearing her “Princess Elsa” braids, modeled by her favorite character in “Frozen.” Her love of Disney princesses never waivered, even as she fought for her life.
Her treatment options are now done, and the family told TODAY they are, “taking it day by day.”
Since they don’t know what the future holds, they decided to celebrate Adalyn’s 4th birthday a few months early. They called upon their community to help, and they couldn’t believe the outpouring of support they received.
Tanya Sturm is the the founder of Dreams & Wishes of Tennessee, a non-profit that grants wishes to kids who relapsed from cancer and young adults just diagnosed. Their wishes are funded by donations and cost less than $2,500 each.
“Adalyn’s wish is to have a huge princess party,” Tanya wrote on Facebook. “She wants to build a snowman with Elsa, Anna, and Olaf. She wants to dance with Belle… and maybe The Beast too, if he’s not too scary. She wants a princess dress, possibly a yellow one because that’s her favorite color right now.”
Before long, Tanya and her army of volunteers had put together a surprise fit for a princess! People quickly signed up to dress up as characters from “Frozen” and other Disney films, and the team arranged for a kid-friendly menu selected by Adalyn.
“I put requests on social media and it was amazing how people wanted to help,” Tanya recalled.
Adalyn was a little nervous at first, but as soon as she saw Olaf she rushed to give him “a warm hug.”
The party was held at a friend of the family’s home. Someone donated a yellow princess dress for the birthday girl, and princess-themed balloons adorned the halls. Over 40 people attended the party, and guests feasted on Chick-fil-A nuggets, meatballs, hot dogs, and mac and cheese.
The pictures show a delighted child surrounded by love! We can’t imagine a more magical way to make memories in their remaining time together. Let’s all hug our loved ones a little tighter tonight, for Adalyn.
Watch Adalyn sharing a sweet dance with her daddy after the party ended below, and don’t forget to share.
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