3-year-old Kyrie is a fiery, joyful girl who loves to sing and dance. Not only is it a fun way to spend time with her siblings and enjoy the things she loves, like the Broadway musical Annie, but it helps her lungs to function better. Kyrie was born with a restricted airway that has caused problems for her heart. She’s all too familiar with the ins and outs of routine (and emergency) hospital visits, where she is forced to spend time away from her family and from a normal childhood. When Kyrie’s doctor referred her to Make-A-Wish, her parents were surprised and found a new hope for their sweet girl’s life.
“This changed everything for us, our entire outlook on life, besides just the Make-a-Wish trip,” Kyrie’s mom, Emily, said when talking about Kyrie’s medical condition. “We had been so focused on g-tube feedings and oxygen cords that suddenly we looked up and we didn't have a sick infant anymore, but a rambunctious preschooler who was alive because of all we had done and how hard she had fought... it was the first time that brought up the question: what now?”
With Kyrie’s love for musicals, choosing her wish was simple. Her one, true wish was “to go see where Annie lives”, New York City! While Annie closed its doors to audiences in 2014, there were still plenty of sights and shows for a rambunctious 3-year-old girl to see. Off to New York they went!
Some of her favorite stops? First, the airplane ride to NYC, where she got to meet the pilot and play in the cockpit. Kyrie and her family then got to ride in a limo to their hotel, where they were greeted with a room full of snacks and goodies, that was big enough for the whole family!
“The fact that there was room enough for all of us in one space, and beds enough for all of us in one space, and that it was designed for her... it really meant so much,” Emily said. “[It] was so healing beyond just the moment of a fancy hotel. It was about so much more than that.”
Kyrie not only got the chance to see The Lion King on Broadway, but she was able to show off her singing and dancing skills when she met the cast and crew backstage after the show. After climbing on stage like the puppets in the show, Kyrie and her siblings tried on costumes, met the actors and sang along to some of the show’s best tunes together! Kyrie had lots of questions for the cast, and was thrilled to learn about the actors behind the characters.
Kyrie and her family spent the rest of the trip visiting some special spots like the Natural History Museum, Central Park with a magical carriage ride and visiting the Statue of Liberty on the ferry! Of course, New York hot dogs were a hit, and Kyrie loved every second of her wish.
“This has made Kyrie less anxious and less afraid, because she feels less alone and more heard. It has recharged us as parents, both in caring for the children, and in having the experience of one whole week where we didn't have to worry about anything…”, Emily said. “For one week, all of us were just okay. Safe. Provided for. Happy. It was a respite we all needed in a way none of us knew.”