A ballerina dances to the music of hope.

A ballerina dances to the music of hope.

Kennedy, 6

neurological condition | I wish to meet a real ballerina

There was a time when all Kennedy’s parents wanted was to see their bright young daughter smile. In an operation to combat Kennedy’s frequent and debilitating seizures, doctors removed a part of Kennedy’s brain that connected to her facial muscles. “Going to see Kennedy, I remember just praying, please God let her smile,” said her mother. “She saw us and she was in pain but you could tell her mouth was going up. It just made us so happy.”

Kennedy hasn’t stopped smiling since. The dancer met with her wish granters the night before her third surgery, and she got to spend the night excited just thinking about meeting, as she calls them, “the best ballerinas.”

Before she knew it, Kennedy and her family were off to New York, where she got to visit the Natural History Museum, take a carriage ride around Central Park and eat an enormous bowl of ice cream all before going backstage to meet the ballerinas from “The Nutcracker.”

Her dad saw a glow in his daughter that he’ll never forget. “There was nothing else in her life in that moment other than the awe of seeing those ballerinas,” he remembers. “She was a ballerina that night.” Maybe that’s because Kennedy couldn’t stop dancing on the sidewalk after the show, or maybe it was the special shoes the ballerinas signed and gave to her.

Make-A-Wish® helped Kennedy leap and twirl her way into a whole new world, one that she’ll always remember.