A fairy tale wish come true

Not many people get to see a red space giraffe, drink space-cow milk or meet their Fairy Godmother.

Not many people get to see a red space giraffe, drink space-cow milk or meet their Fairy Godmother. But for one little girl, Kirklander Grace Weaver, she got to do all that and a whole lot more as part of her Make-A-Wish Foundation experience Thursday.

“I have a whole new appreciation for Make-A-Wish,” said Jeanette Weaver, Grace’s mother. “I thought they just put people on a plane somewhere to go meet someone, but this was all so fantastical and detailed. It must have been a lot of work and we are very grateful.”

The Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Six-year-old Grace has a rare disease called Juvenile Dermatomyositis that attacks capillaries and cuts off blood supply. Some of the symptoms of the disease include muscle weakness and pain, severe fatigue, rashes and swallowing and digestive difficulties. But the side effects of the drugs are almost worse as Grace has developed inoperable cataracts.

“It has been awful to see her get 20 months of needle procedures,” Jeanette said. “But we got to see her go from being traumatized to floating on cloud nine. I found myself getting choked up throughout the day — the kindness of the people was amazing.”

Finding out what Grace wanted for her wish was no easy task. Wish councilors came to the Weaver’s house multiple times to talk with Grace and get ideas.

The Weavers had been to the circus and Jeanette originally thought that would be a good theme.

“She was so enthralled by it,” said Jeanette. “She even said ‘when I grow up I want to be in the circus.'”

But when the councilors got to talking with Grace it seemed that a plethora of other things, such as space-cow milk, interested the little girl, too.

“When they asked her where she wanted to go, she told them ‘outer space,'” said Jeanette. “They just started making up stories.”

From those sessions, the councilors put together a mix of Alice in Wonderland, scenes from the book Good Night Moon and other fairy tails – among other things.

“The space-cow milk was really good,” said Grace. “[The best part was] getting to be a fairy.”

The Weavers were allowed up to 10 people to come along for the day. Grace’s brother Richie, 4, her father Doug Weaver, Jeanette, Grace’s grandmother and best friend Olivia were all a part of the day that was out of this world.

“She was my assistant,” Grace said about her best friend. “It was really, really good.”

The day began when a limousine picked the group up at Weaver’s home. The car took the group to the Seattle Children’s Theatre for a performance of Good Night Moon, where Grace met her Fairy Godmother and received some fairy wings of her own. The cast incorporated a red space giraffe into the show and sang a song they wrote especially for Grace at the end of the show. The cast stayed in character to give Grace a Wonderful Tea Party after the show – which was inspired by Alice in Wonderland.

From there, the group went to the Pacific Science Center where Grace was entertained by jugglers and characters in costume and got to touch the sea life in the tide pools, learn about blue whales and enjoy a private space show in the Planetarium.

Grace also got to stop at the Seattle Fudge Company.

“The owner showed them how to make the candy and role cotton candy,” said Jeanette. “It was amazing the kindness of these people who don’t even know Grace.”

The group was taken to the Space Needle where the little girl was treated to a Make-A-Wish party on the observation deck with cake and ice cream, and entertainment provided by Teatro Zinzanni.

Dinner was served at the Bellevue Maggiano’s. Jeanette said that Grace always knows exactly what she wants and the restaurant was more than happy to comply, even if it meant pasta with no sauce.

“It was incredible,” her mother said. “It was like precision planning. They would call and say we’re are five minutes away, four minutes away. And they planned it tight to keep the kids’ attention. It was like Christmas.”

All the planning almost had to be put on hold as Grace got sick last week from the flu and Jeanette was afraid they would have to cancel. But Grace was ready to go when the limo arrived.

Jeanette says her daughter’s condition has improved, but she is not in remission yet.

“They think she is headed toward remission but her bones are fragile,” she said. “They never give a prognosis with this disease. It is really scary because it builds as it goes along.”

Despite all that the little girl has to deal with and the length of the day – nearly nine hours of non-stop fun – Jeanette said that Grace made it through with no issues and is still reeling from the experience.

“She has been like a young bride in the afterglow of her wedding day.”

For information

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Alaska, Montana, Northern Idaho and Washington grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. For information, visit Make-A-Wish Foundation.