On February 16, 2010, 11-year-old Allie received news that would change her and her family’s life greatly; Allie was diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition called dysgerminoma. On October 9, 2010, nearly 8 months after her diagnosis, Make-A-Wish® Oklahoma and the community of Tulsa came together to give this Hugo native an experience she will never forget.
Allie, now 12, wished to have a local shopping spree. Her and her mother traveled to Tulsa and checked into their hotel where they discovered their room had been decorated by Allie’s Wish Granter, Leslie. She had left donated goodies and a cake, which had a picture of a girl with lots of shopping bags on it. “When she entered the hotel room, with the gifts and cake, she screamed at the top of her lungs. Then she cried,” Allie’s mom said about Allie’s excitement over her decorated room.
The next day, a limo driver took them to Chili’s Bar and Grill Restaurant to kick off the shopping spree with a fun lunch. From the beginning of Allie’s experience there, Chili’s went out of their way to make her meal memorable.
As soon as Allie walked through the door, she was greeted by servers and other Chili’s employees, singing and chanting.
They gave her a tiara and walked her to her table which was decorated with balloons and a banner. A purple basket sat in the middle of the table with gifts from Chili’s; a hoodie, chili pepper earrings, mugs and chili-shaped silly bands.
“She was thrilled with all her stuff,” Leslie, Allie’s Wish Granter, said.
At the end of the meal, Allie was given a Molten Lava Cake with a candle by a server who rapped a special song for her. What Allie didn’t know yet was that the cake was on a special plate decorated with stars and the moon, another gift from the restaurant.
“Donations from Chili’s will be a memory that lasts her the rest of her life. All those people are what helped make it the greatest day of her life,” Leslie said.
After lunch, Allie was off to her first store, Best Buy, to get what turned out to be her favorite purchase of the day, an iPod Touch, plus accessories.
From there, she traveled to Woodland Hills Mall where Allie got to spend hours shopping with a personal shopper, modeling clothes and making many purchases. Some of the items Allie purchased included seven pairs of shoes, a diva necklace, which Leslie says, “defined her day,” and lots of clothes. An employee at JCPenney also purchased a coat for Allie.
Allie’s mom said now Allie has so many clothes that her mornings are spent with at least one hour of trying on different outfits to decide what to wear.
After several trips back and forth to the limo with all her purchases, Allie had shopped ‘til she dropped. The shopping spree was over and it was time to get back to the limo, where Allie poured herself a sprite in a champagne glass and said, “This is the greatest day of my life.”
“When people in the community get behind you with donations, it makes [the wish kid’s] day that much better,” Leslie said. Leslie’s advice for future wish granters is to go all out; “Do everything you can and then some to impact what you can. I don’t think I have ever had that good of a feeling at the end of the day. It really felt that I had done and been part of something special.”