In February 2016 came the devastating news. Fiona, five years-old at the time, was diagnosed with Leukemia.
Intense chemotherapy took a serious toll on Fiona’s immune system. She suffered complications due to infection and was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, where she was intubated and heavily sedated for nearly two weeks.
After a 47-day hospital stay, Fiona needed to forget about her worries and find hope. Her parents and medical staff at Cook Children’s turned to Make-A-Wish.
“It was important we help Fiona,” her mother Jessica said. “We needed her to get past all the stuff that had happened so she could enjoy life again and remember that life isn’t all about hospitals, needle pokes and scary dreams.”
Involving her entire family in her wish was a priority for Fiona. She wanted everyone to be worry free.
What better for a dinosaur enthusiast than to wish to be a paleontologist?
“Fiona has always loved dinosaurs,” Jessica said. “Since dinosaurs aren't around for her to see, she's especially curious about them! When she found out her wish was coming true, Fiona was immediately filled with hope! Her first reaction was the amazing anticipation that she might be able to name a new species of dinosaur.”
Fiona and her family spent five days in South Dakota and explored various state parks where she rode horses, experienced a helicopter tour and of course, had her big dig for dinosaur fossils!
“Fiona was so happy to be able to bring home actual dinosaur bones,” Jessica said. “She was especially proud that she was the one that found them. She’ll keep those close to her forever!”
“Fiona is very bright and inquisitive,” noted her wish granter, Marti. “She has a magnetic personality and makes you want to love her immediately. Fiona is always thirsty to learn and explore, and her wish allowed her to do just that and put cancer in the rearview mirror.”