The words we love to hear – “I’m going to Disneyland!” For wish kid Violet, this life-changing wish trip was even more magical because it helped her find her passion for performance.
As part of “The Wish Effect,” we’ve caught up with some amazing kids to see how their wishes continue to impact them to this day. In our last episode, we got a behind-the-scenes look at Julius’ wish to visit the set of ABC’s Emmy-nominated comedy “black-ish,”and today I can’t wait to introduce you to Violet, whose wish was granted by Disney and Make-A-Wish in 2013.
Violet is a 10-year-old from Texas who loves everything about the Disneyland Resort – from the pineapple perfection of a Dole Whip, to the thrill of exploring Pixar Pier, to the spooky-sweet smell of the Gingerbread House in Haunted Mansion Holiday. When Violet was only 7 months old, she was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a cancer of the eye. During her treatment, Make-A-Wish asked Violet for her one true wish, and she knew immediately she wanted to meet Mickey Mouse at Disneyland.
When Violet’s wish day arrived, it was all the sweeter because it came true on her 3rd birthday. The wish was an unforgettable experience for Violet and her family, but it was only the beginning. In Violet’s own words, “my wish pretty much changed my life.”
“A lot of things have evolved and happened from her wish,” Violet’s mom, Shenay, explained. “Violet was asked to host a Make-A-Wish gala. When she got on stage, she found her spot. She loved being up there, and helping.”
“Violet’s wish inspired her to give back even more. She started to make artwork to auction off at the Make-A-Wish galas,” Shenay remembered. “One piece went for $25,000. It’s amazing that something so difficult in our lives became an opportunity to give back. It made us feel like what we went through wasn’t for nothing. I’m so grateful for all of it.”
Violet’s vivacity charmed thousands, and she went on to co-host over a dozen Make-A-Wish galas all over the country, “where I helped raise millions of dollars,” explained Violet. “I’ve been so blessed to be in Disney and Make-A-Wish videos, TV shows, a film, and even voiceovers for radio and animation.”
One of Violet’s favorite experiences was getting to be a part of the video “It Stays With You,” which premiered at D23 Expo in 2019. You can spot Violet holding Mickey and Minnie’s hands and running through the castle, an Easter egg callback to her magical wish to meet Mickey a few years prior.
With such an impressive resume at 10 years old, you may wonder what is next for Violet? “When all of this is over, I’m so excited to go to Disneyland to see all of my friends again,” she enthused. And in another few years, “I really want to be a Disney cast member. I could be an Imagineer, or I could help dress the cast members, any job really. I would just love to be on the team!”
Violet still has a few years to decide her career path. But for now, she has some important advice: “as wish kids, we face challenges every day that most people don’t. We’re like superheroes because we’re so brave and strong. This is just another obstacle and we will get through this together. Never give up! I know having patience can be really hard, when you’re waiting for something you want so badly. But hold on to hope and always remember that you’re very, very loved.”
For all the parents of wish kids, Shenay shared that “it must be so hard to be waiting for the wish right now. Keep that faith in your heart and know that there is a light at the end of this tunnel.”
To learn more about how Disney is working with Make-A-Wish to provide magic to wish kids and their families when they need it most, and to see more episodes of “The Wish Effect” visit wish.org/Disney.