Just to be a kid again

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Just to be a kid again

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Aviana Finton and her mother, Corri, pose with Rapunzel at Walt Disney World. CONTRIBUTED

For many, a trip to Walt Disney World brings joy and excitement, but for Aviana Finton it meant so much more. Aviana is 6 years old and is from Vandalia, from doing arts and crafts and watching Finding Nemo, she lives a pretty normal young girl’s life. In June of 2015, Aviana had a seizure and was rushed to Dayton Children’s Hospital in which a CAT scan revealed that she had a brain tumor. The brain tumor caused Cerebellar Mutism which resulted in her left side being paralyzed.

This marked the beginning of a long journey that completely turned their world upside down. Two days after the initial seizure, Aviana was scheduled to have surgery to remove the tumor. The surgery was successful, but three months later, the tumor returned. Aviana had her second surgery and the Cerebellar Mutism impacted her right side of her body. Despite being only 5 years old, she remained optimistic that things would get better. Through chemotherapy, and two rounds of physical therapy to rebuild her left and right sides due to the Cerebellar Mutism, Aviana stayed strong and came out on top.

When Aviana was referred to the Dayton Chapter of A Special Wish Foundation (ASW), Aviana’s first choice for a wish was to go to Walt Disney World, her second choice was to go to the beach and her third was to ride in an airplane. Aviana and her mother, Corri, got on a plane to Florida and stayed at Give Kids the World Village (GKTW).

Corri was overwhelmed by their experience at GKTW. “Aviana was able to forget all of her struggles and finally be a kid again. No one looked at her weird when they saw her wearing leg braces, no one asked questions, no one brought it up. It felt like the staff and other families at GKTW had known us forever and we were welcomed so warmly,” remembered Corri.

Aviana loved every second at GKTW, especially the unlimited rides on the merry-go-round, but Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World was her close second favorite part of the trip. She felt like a movie star because of the VIP treatment the staff gave her.

Since Aviana also wanted to see the ocean, they gave up a day at Walt Disney World to drive out to the beach. The girls had a relaxing day listening to the ocean and playing in the sand. They also got to experience Sea World and see all the amazing aquatic creatures.

Every time Aviana is asked what her favorite part of the trip was, she says something different because it is so hard for her to pick just one thing. When she got home, it was hard for her to stop talking about the time she had and memories she made.

Aviana’s Wish was made possible through the generous donations made by people in the community.

A Special Wish Foundation-Dayton Chapter is the only wish granting organization located in the Dayton region. For more information on how you can be part of granting a local child’s wish, go online to www.aspecialwishdayton.org.

A Special Wish Foundation-Dayton Chapter is the only wish granting organization located in the Dayton region. For more information on how you can be part of granting a local child’s wish, go online to www.aspecialwishdayton.org.

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