Six year old Miniyha of Napa has a degenerative neurological condition that has rendered her unable to speak or move. When Kathie “grandma” Respini became her guardian, Miniyha was two years old and weighed just 15 pounds. Because of her overwhelming physical challenges, Respini’s primary goal was for her “to know that her life mattered to someone.”
Miniyha can only breathe if her head is held up and to the left and has chest therapies three times a day. On March 11th, however, she was comfortably seated in a custom-made chair in the front row of the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts for the final performance of Broadway San Jose’s Beauty and the Beast for her wish. According to Respini, when approached with this wish, Broadway San Jose told her “We will do whatever it takes to make this work. We are so excited to be hosting Miniyha. We are beside ourselves.” On the day of her wish, Miniyha was dressed in the custom-made yellow Belle gown that her “grandma” created for the occasion. The wish was “everything we could have wished for, she really was the princess,” says Respini.
This wish was inspired by Miniyha’s love of music, bright colors and stories on CD. Several years ago, Respini took her to see a Beauty and the Beast performance and she was “absolutely mesmerized.” The 6 year old is also a fan of American Idol, and Dancing with the Stars, showing her enjoyment through facial expressions, squeaks and soft laughter. In spite of her limited communication, Respini describes her as “quite the boss” and “really really smart—she’s a whippersnapper.” Back home in Napa, Miniyha is well known and loved. “This entire community has embraced her. Everyone in my neighborhood knows her. I think she was put here for a big reason.” She is the most amazing person I have ever met. I had no idea I could love like this.”
|National Wish Stories|