It wasn’t easy, but an 8-year-old Tica suffering from AIDS finally got the hug from Minnie Mouse she had dreamed about. Not only did she get the hug, she shared breakfast with the famous mouse and her friends Mickey,Winnie the Pooh and Pinocchio at Cinderella’s Castle.
During her trip to Orlando, Florida, Feb. 26 to March 2, the girl was given the royal, VIP treatment – flying executive class, traveling in a black limousine, taking nightly bubble baths and getting to skip all the lines at Disney’s MagicKingdom and EpcotCenter. This was all courtesy of a generous anonymous donor who wanted to make the girl’s dream come true before her disease goes too far.
“First we thank God, then we thank this gentleman for his generosity,” said Marlone Avila, director of Fundación Vida, the nonprofit organization that offers support to AIDS victims and made the trip possible. The girl contracted AIDS from her mother and was abandoned by her parents.
After twice being frustrated in her quest for a visa to the United States, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security agreed to waive the rule prohibiting people with AIDS from entering the United States and allowed the little girl’s dream to come true (TT, Feb. 10).
The girl is now back in school and her health is stable, Avila said.