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California Dreamin' with Sofia

  • Sofia blows her fans one last farewell kiss.
    © Sunny Wright Photography

  • Sofia is treated to a manicure.
    © Sunny Wright Photography

  • After hair and makeup, Sofia finds the perfect dress.
    © Sunny Wright Photography

  • The Hollywood-bound starlet poses for the camera.
    © Sunny Wright Photography

  • Adoring fans erupt with excitement as Sofia steps outside.
    © Sunny Wright Photography

  • Sofia signs autographs left and right.
    © Sunny Wright Photography

  • Sofia, sister, and mom pose with the crowd.
    © Sunny Wright Photography

“ Now Sofia has such great memories to reflect on! ”

- Rene, Sofia's mom

Nine-year-old wish recipient Sofia had better odds of finding a four leaf clover than being diagnosed with Juvenile Batten Disease – a rare incurable disease that attacks the neurological system. But this unlikely diagnosis, which has caused blindness, hasn't stopped her from seeing herself as Hollywood-bound. And her local community agrees.

Sofia was born a starMore than a dozen local businesses and the community rallied together to help Make-A-Wish® Alaska and Washington surprise Sofia with a day of glamour in anticipation of her wish to meet her favorite celebrity.

It began with a horse drawn carriage ride to a local salon where she received a stylish hairdo, a touch of makeup and a manicure.

Trading in her t-shirt, jeans and tennis shoes for some fancy flats, a frilly dress and some larger-than-life sunglasses, this fashion plate was ready for her own version of lights, camera, action. Sofia exuded the confidence of a Hollywood starlet as she nailed pose after pose for the professional photographer capturing her wish enhancement experience.

Next stop: a VIP dinner and a grand send off party at P.F. Chang's with friends and family. More fans and local news reporters met the starlet outside the restaurant for a TV interview upon her arrival. "Make-A-Wish is such a beautiful cause, so showing our support is truly a priceless and wonderful opportunity," said Amy Spring, operating partner of P.F. Chang's.

A few days later, Sofia, her sister Isabella, and mom were flown to Hollywood to watch the filming of her favorite television show, Disney's "Good Luck Charlie." After the taping, Sofia got the chance to meet the show's stars and get a full tour of Disney's studio. Sofia was in her element rubbing elbows with her idols.

Other highlights of her vacation included a trip to the Walk of Fame, a visit to the wax museum and some time poolside.

"Sofia has many hard days ahead," shared her mom, Rene, "but now she has such great memories to reflect on when the tough days come!"

Special thanks: Wish granting volunteers Terri White and Tara Parker, Demma's Salon, Sunny Wright Photography, Alaska Airlines, Ralph & Carmen's Carriage Squire, The Sheraton Hotel, Bonnie Anaya, Get a Grip, Becky's Coffee Shop, P.F. Chang's, Peter Freepons, Ruurd Veldhuis, Officer Brian Ohler, Johnson's Limo Service, Puterbaugh Construction and KD's Country Floral

I saw so many people with tears in their eyes as Sofia came out to meet her fans. ”

— Terri, wish-granting volunteer

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  • We're still inspired by the words of 2001 wish recipient, Renae, who shared her journey with us last Friday night at #Wishtoberfest. She said, "Like so many of our wish kids, my childhood wasn't a typical one...But my wish gave me what medicine could not, just as it does for each and every wish kid we serve. It gave me a much needed emotional boost when I desperately needed it. It gave me an unbelievable amount of hope, a surge of strength, and overwhelming joy. It encouraged me to dig deep and fight for the life I dreamed of living." Find out how you can get involved with wishes today: Photo courtesy Amber Tolbert Photography.

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Make-A-Wish® Alaska & Washington
811 1st Ave #520
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Make-A-Wish® Alaska & Washington, Eastern Washington Office
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Make-A-Wish® Alaska & Washington, Alaska Office
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