Young cancer survivor gets special trip to Florida

Comox Valley girl wishes big to Disney World for dream trip

Natalia Corrigall (left) and her sister Annabel prepare with WestJet staff at the Comox Valley Airport early Sunday morning for their flight to Florida as part of Natalia’s Make-A-Wish request.

Natalia Corrigall was asked to wish big.

The Comox Valley girl started off by asking for roller skates, or a Barbie camper.

“Wish bigger,” was the reply.

Her mom – Christa Corrigall – soon received a handwritten note from Natalia with three wishes: meet Ariana Grande; go to Give Kids the World (GKTW) connected to Disney World; and to swim with dolphins and mermaids.

After careful planning through Make-A-Wish Canada, her trip to Disney World was granted.

Corrigall reached out to the foundation shortly after she found out about her daughter’s cancer diagnosis, she says, desperate for any help and compassion she could find.

“I was so scared for my daughter’s life. At that time I wasn’t completely aware what Make-A-Wish entailed,” she wrote in an email.

Encouraging Natalia to wait until she was stronger, the team went to work helping the family. They visited her during one of her chemotherapy trips, and began to set her dream in motion.

“Natalia really was hoping for her wish to take her little sister, Annabel, to Disney,” said Corrigall. “They’re pretty close buddies – a true sibling bond.”

Natalia had heard about GKTW from a friend she met while in hospital and after spending time at Camp Goodtimes – a camp for children with cancer and their families on the Lower Mainland.

“At the time, we had never heard of such a place … even learning about what Make-A-Wish does still makes it hard to believe that this pure form of generosity exists, but we have felt that from our community since day one.”

GKTW is a 70-acre, non-profit resort in central Florida that provides accommodations, donated attraction tickets, meals and more.

Last weekend, thanks to WestJet – which has partnered with Make-A-Wish Canada since 2007 with flights – the Corrigall family departed on an early morning flight to Florida from the Comox Airport.

Corrigall says it was incredibly important for her family to come together for the trip.

“… it’s so very important to our family to reach out to (Make-A-Wish) personally to let them know what this time of magic and being together as a family means to us. It’s the very best part of life to have time and to be together.

“Natalia’s wishes are coming true and every part knows what it does to their soul when they see that smile of wonder spread across their children’s faces. It’s simply the greatest feeling in the world.”

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