At such a young innocent age of nineteen months old, Desiree’s life was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with E. coli. The family was faced with more bad news from the doctors at Duke University Hospital. They were told that the bacterium had shut down her kidneys and to prepare for the worst possible outcome.
However, Desiree had other plans. Not only had mom raised a vibrant little girl, she also raised a fighter. The next few months were critical. She was on dialysis with no guarantee to save her kidneys. She battled through the years like a champion and on October 4, 2013, the family received amazing news – they had found a kidney. The next day, she underwent a transplant. Her body rejected the kidney, but after seven units of infusion, the cells changed and her body responded positively.
Recently, a friend informed the family about Make-A-Wish Eastern Carolina and its mission of grant wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Mom decided to contact the chapter immediately. Once medically eligible, the volunteer wish granters contacted the family shortly thereafter and set up a time to meet Desiree. By now, Desiree was thirteen years old and as any girl that age would agree, she wanted to go on a shopping spree as part of her wish experience. She chose a shopping trip because she had recently donated her clothes. After a long day at the hospital, and much to her surprise, the wish-granters informed Desiree that her wish would be granted.
The following January, Desiree was able to do the one thing she had always wanted to do—go on a shopping spree! She took her mom and her nephew on the big shopping trip with her. They were picked up in a limo and driven to Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh, NC. The experience began with a private wish party held at Bailey’s Fine Jewelry, a retailer associated with Jewelers for Children, who helped make Desiree’s wish possible. Jewelers for Children was founded in 1999 by the U.S. jewelry industry with the mission of helping children in need. In addition to hosting the party, Bailey’s Fine Jewelry presented Desiree with a $500 gift card for her to select some jewelry of her own.
After her party, Desiree was able to shop at some of her favorite stores including Abercrombie & Fitch, Best Buy, Victoria’s Secret, Foot Locker, and Bath & Body Works. She enjoyed having a personal shopper when she went into Best Buy, and The Cheesecake Factory made her feel super special by decorating her table with balloons and allowing to her make her very own cheesecake in the kitchen.
All in all, Desiree’s journey has been nothing short of miraculous. Having her wish granted by Make-A-Wish Eastern North Carolina has given Desiree and her family a more positive outlook and will help her in the years to come. Desiree continues to display her positive attitude and is determined to live the typical teenage lifestyle, just like her friends.