When Khloe Sudol was granted a wish by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the little girl chose to go with her family to Disney World.
Khloe was diagnosed with a rare blood disease, atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) at 9 years of age just after Thanksgiving last year. The disease affects only 2 in 1 million.
The Sudols had arranged their Disney trip for the Christmas season, but like all the weddings, graduations, and plans put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak, Make-A-Wish has also been forced to postpone all travel-related wishes.
“The health and safety of everyone in our Make-A-Wish community including our wish families is our priority. Due to current medical and public concerns, travel-related wishes have been postponed for the well-being of our wish kids and families, until further notice. We have ensured to our wish families that travel wishes in the near future have been postponed, but not canceled,” Michael Dominick, Director of Communications at Make-A-Wish New Jersey, said in a statement to the media.
Shawna Mulford, a friend of Heather Sudol, Khloe’s mother, would not be so easily discouraged. Mulford, the owner of Let’s Party Events, saw an opportunity to use her resources to bring some joy to Khloe and her family in light of disappointing news about their trip.
On Wednesday, dozens of cars parked on the street in front of the Sudols’ home. The family’s front yard in Upper Township, New Jersey had transformed into The Happiest Place on Earth.
Khloe, who had just turned 10, got to enjoy a parade of her favorite Disney characters including Cinderella, Olaf, Mickey Mouse, and Belle as they sang “Happy Birthday” to her.
“There were about 75 cars in the parade and she brought Mickey, and the princesses, and everything to our driveway,” Khloe’s mother said. “And it was the most beautiful thing ever.”
Khloe even received gifts: Mickey Mouse ears, bubbles, and a Disney gift card. She said it was the best birthday ever.
The surprise was especially meaningful because Khloe has been out of school since her diagnosis and hospital stay, and she’s been contained in semi-quarantine since November.
“[Khloe] was just blown away. We’re still in shock,” Sudol said. “I’m still crying when I watch the video.”
And since we’re all wondering—yes, once it’s safe to travel, Make-A-Wish says Khloe will go to Disney World.
“Khloe’s wish has not yet been scheduled. We remain committed to granting a wish to every eligible child we are working with as soon as it is safe to do so, including Khloe!” Dominick said.
Sudol is grateful for Mulford’s touching gesture and for the ongoing support of their community.
“It means so much,” she said. “They have been a tremendous help throughout all of this.”