For some people, it’s more about the journey than the destination. That’s certainly true for 11 year-old Maria, who wished to have a transportation experience for her wish. In her case, the destination was also pretty appealing: New York City.
Maria’s volunteer wish granters said, “Last night we met the best girl we have met in a long time,” after they conducted their wish interview with her. And even though Maria is nonverbal, they had no problem understanding what made her happy—anything to do with transportation. She communicates through a computer, but in many ways her body language tells you everything you need to know. When the wish granters talked to her about a transportation-themed wish, “she had a huge smile on her face and would get up and dance around the room.”
And now, whenever someone is talking about her wish, “she’s always happy,” according to her parents. Even illness during the trip hasn’t detracted from the experience. Her parents say that despite being sick for two of the days in New York, “whenever we talk about it she never brings up her illness. That tells me her wish overshadowed her illness, which is exactly what I was hoping for.”
To get to New York, Maria rode a limousine, airplane and van. Once in New York, she rode a taxi, ferry, sightseeing bus and even a police cart. Her most heartfelt wish, though, was to ride a train. That ended up being her family’s favorite part of the trip. “Maria loved the view and we all sat back and enjoyed it with her. It was so wonderful not to have a care in the world and enjoy the east coast scenery.” They rode Amtrak from New York to Washington D.C., where they took another mode of transportation: a trolley car. Several times a week she assembles the Statue of Liberty puzzle she got during her wish. When it’s finished, she stares at it with a huge smile on her face.
Six days. Nine modes of transportation. Two cities. Countless memories.