Make-A-Wish WNY grants Fredonia child’s wish

One special little girl is getting a whole lot of love from an organization known for making children’s wishes come true.

Make-A-Wish of Western New York is proud to turn 4-year-old Cassidy’s dream to be a princess into a reality.

Cassidy’s Princess Gala will take place Sunday, Aug. 10 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens in Depew, with 50 of her closest friends and family.

The young child is currently battling Stage Five Wilms’ tumor, a cancer of the kidneys. Cassidy’s treatment began Sept. 12, 2013 and her chemotherapy stopped April, 17, 2014. Because of the rarity of this cancer she had to undergo surgery in Boston, Mass. She lost one and half kidneys, and is now living with only half of the remaining kidney. Cassidy was a healthy baby girl until last year when she started getting sick. Once she has been cancer free for a whole year she will be put on a list for a kidney transplant.

Karly Monroe said her daughter Cassidy has been very excited about meeting real princesses. Disney has always been an inspirational place for the 4 year old, who loves the famous cartoon princesses.

Buffalo Women and Children’s Hospital referred Cassidy to Make-A-Wish WNY.

“They were fantastic,” Monroe said. “In the beginning we were there three times a week. We haven’t had to go there in awhile.”

Monroe felt relieved when she received the news her daughter had her wish granted.

“She has been through so much,” she said. “It really touched my heart.”

Making this brave little girl’s wish come true means a lot to everyone who knows her.

“It is a milestone for her,” Monroe said. “She is always smiling, always happy, no matter what she goes through. Seeing her achieve this and be healthy enough to do this means the world to her.”

Make-A-Wish WNY Media Relations Manager Kate McGowan believes in the mission statement the organization operates by.

“We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy,” she recited during a phone interview with OBSERVER.

“We got so much support from the community, it is amazing to see Western New York step up,” McGowan said about the community’s involvement with Cassidy’s wish. “To give back to the child in need and the kindness of Western New York. It is incredible to see that and witness that. Her wish was extraordinary to put together. A Fredonia salon is going to do her make-over.”

Cassidy has already spent a week prior to her big night at ballet camp in Buffalo.

“They trained her how to be a princess,” McGowan said. “It was to help her get excited about the (Princess Gala) day.”

McGowan explained the preparations for the special night. There will be four princesses, a prince, and a carriage. A limo will take Cassidy and her mother to Depew, where they will spend the night. Salvatore’s Italian Gardens will donate the food.

“We have a lot of surprises for her,” McGowan said. “This is all about her. It is about giving her a break from reality.”

Make-A-Wish WNY has granted nearly 2,500 wishes since it opened in 1992. In 2013, 146 of these children’s wishes came true. The wish referrals need to come from parents, guardians, members of the medical community, or the children themselves. They serve children between the ages of 2 and under the age of 18 at the time of referral. The wish can be granted up until 21 years of age.

Anyone who would like to make a referral for a child, volunteer their time or just get more information about this program can reach out to them at 716-810-9474.

Comments on this story may be sent to jwillis@observertoday.com