When two local Make-A-Wish volunteers visited Amiah Slater and her twin sister Amyra after the girls' recent trip to Walt Disney World, the excitement was still evident on their faces.
Tom and Linda Heenan, who have volunteered with Make-A-Wish South Carolina for about a decade, caught up with Amiah to hear all about her adventure made possible by the nonprofit organization.
Amiah, 4, of Clearwater and her family were treated to a seven-day trip to Disney World.
The foundation paid for a rental car and all living expenses. The family also received a check to cover souvenirs and gas.
Before the trip, the twins also received T-shirts, snacks and coloring books to occupy them on the drive down to Florida.
The Heenans were happy to see the twins' beds covered with Disney souvenirs and the two little girls wearing their Disney princess dresses.
Amiah and Amyra excitedly told them of how they met Mickey Mouse and how the princesses signed an autograph book they carried around with them.
They were treated like princesses themselves at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and they were soaked later by a splashing orca during a SeaWorld show.
“It was magical in many ways,” Tom Heenan wrote in an email. “It was fun talking to them.”
Heenan said the Give Kids the World organization, a nonprofit resort at Disney, really helped the family make the most of their trip.
The couple later received a thank-you note from Amiah's mother, Sheryl Haskins.
Heenan said the note, along with the smiles on the little girls' faces, is what makes volunteering with the foundation so worthwhile.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants a wish of a child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition.
Heenan said Make-A-Wish South Carolina makes an average of 140 dreams come true across the state each year.
To learn more about the Make-A-Wish Foundation, visit www.wish.org.
Amy Banton is the city beat reporter and has been with the Aiken Standard since May 2010. She is a native of Rustburg, Va., and a graduate of Randolph Macon Woman's College.