Magical evening for Fredonia girl overcoming cancer

The little girl who touched hearts in her community had a magical evening thanks to Make-A-Wish Western New York.

Fredonia residents Karly Monroe and daughter Cassidy had a night they will never forget when the 4 year old had her wish granted to be a princess.

The Princess Gala held at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens in Depew Sunday night was filled with dancing, laughing, magic and fine dining as more than 50 friends and family members enjoyed the dream of this courageous little girl.

Cassidy is living with half a kidney after a surgery she had several months ago in Boston to remove cancerous tumors.

She must be cancer-free for a whole year before she can be eligible for a kidney transplant.

The Cinderella atmosphere provided Cassidy with a break from reality.

“It gave her something to think about besides doctors and medicine,” said Kate McGowan manager of media relations for Make-A-Wish WNY. “She just focused on being happy.”

McGowan added Cassidy was all smiles the whole time.

“She loved being in the limelight,” she said. “She took photos in front of everyone, played games and danced a lot.”

Make-A-Wish WNY reached out to WKBW News Reporter Jason Gruenauer to help them in making this night extra special.

Gruenauer had the most important role in the Princess Gala … he was the 4 year old’s Prince Charming.

“He was all for it,” McGowan said. “Cassidy loved the idea of having an actual prince charming.”

Gruenauer not only dazzled the young child with his charm, but gave her a special moment she will never forget.

“Her shoe fell off,” McGowan said. “He put her shoe back on just like Cinderella. She had her Cinderella moment.”

These wishes make a huge impact in the child’s healing process. Make-A-Wish WNY did a wish impact study that shows 97 percent of wish families observe an increase in their child’s emotional health, while 74 percent of wish parents observe a turning point in their child’s response to treatment, and 89 percent of health care professionals believe the wish experience can influence the child’s physical health.

“The wish impacts the family and community,” McGowan said. “It offers them a break from reality, too.”

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