Birthdays are a time to close your eyes and wish for something extraordinary. But what happens if your wish has already been granted? That was six-year-old Madelyn's predicament when Make-A-Wish® Alaska and Washington sent her on a trip to White Stallion Ranch in Tucson during her birthday week.
"Madelyn has loved horses for years. She has dreamed of horses for years. She has played horses for years," said Madelyn's mom, Lisa. So a wish to celebrate her birthday at a dude ranch was a logical fit!
Her weeklong adventure was packed with different activities each day. She and her family learned about horses, watched them gallop by and got plenty of time to ride them, too. Madelyn was beaming as she sat atop her big horse, Bronco, singing, "Puff the Magic Dragon" as they strolled though the trails.
"Madelyn inspired and touched many people while she was here," added White Stallion Ranch staff member, Madison St. Clair, "Her bubbly personality and adorable sparkly red boots made her an instant hit. We have had several children from Make-A-Wish come through over the years, and Madelyn's wish was certainly one that we will not forget... Visiting with a child from Make-A-Wish definitely leaves an impression on you."
Madelyn's happiness was overwhelming, especially when she celebrated her birthday at the ranch. The birthday celebrations commenced with a fun-filled dinner. Madelyn and her sister, Sophia, danced to live cowboy music as they bounced around the outdoor patio. The ranch staff brought out birthday ice cream cake and, to her parent's surprise, more presents from Make-A-Wish and the ranch staff! Madelyn's birthday was a success, as was her entire wish that came true.
"Make-A-Wish is the gift of dreams when dreams need to be realized most. When a young child is forced to be more mature, to endure, to fight a tremendous battle – for their life – at a young age it changes who they are. Giving them the gift of their dreams is giving them a chance to experience their childhood in an intense, overwhelming, wonderful, fairy-dust infused sort of way. They deserve it. You let Madelyn's soul soar for a few special days in time," said Lisa.
Special thanks: Wish-granting volunteers Lora Banta and Karen Lazar, Adopt-A-Wish Co-Sponsors Jill and Scott Walker and Trina Cottingham, Make-A-Wish® Arizona, Alaska Airlines, The White Stallion Ranch and SeaTacpark.com