Bold, confident, courageous. Funny, kind-hearted, amicable. These are just a few of the words that come to mind when talking about six-year-old Angelina.
Angelina was diagnosed with a neuromuscular disorder at a very young age and has since received er wish from Make-A-Wish to remodel her backyard into a barn-themed, wheelchair accessible playground that her and her baby sister would be able to play on together.
Since before she could remember, Angelina’s main method of transportation has always been her wheelchair. It has become a big part of her life and who she is, and she often faces obstacles due to the limited mobility of her wheelchair; However, she doesn’t let this stop her from tackling all the things she wants to achieve for herself.
“When we received her diagnosis, we were told all the things she would never do, but Angelina has never looked at life in that sense,” said Erin, Angelina’s mom.“Anyone who’s ever worked with her, from therapists to teachers, will tell you she has always been determined to do things the way her peers do them. She’s never looked at herself as unable to do one said project, and as her parents we’ve always done our best to make sure that we do everything in our power to assist her in making things happen.”
Angelina’s parents, however, are not the only ones who recognize her amazing attitude and persistence to overcome any possible challenges. One of the most memorable experiences for Terry Baum, one of Angelina’s wish granters, was that of her riding a horse. Angelina has always loved horses, hence the barn themed remodel, however as she has always needed the support of her wheelchair, she has faced much difficulty in trying to ride them. This was changed during her wish reveal when Angelina’s dad brought in horses to their backyard for everyone to ride, and from the moment they stepped foot in the backyard, Angelina was determined to ride one. She knew it wouldn’t be an easy task, but with help from the right people, she knew she could do it. And she did.
“This is the best day of my life,” Angelina said on her wish day. That was the only thing she could get out at the end of it all, and honestly, what more could you ask for? Angelina’s wish gave her even more of the confidence she already possessed to take on any challenge she may face without doubting herself or her abilities for one second.
A special thanks to Northwestern Mutual for supporting Angelina in her wish and helping to make it come true!