Dreams come true — Wapakoneta girl meets Cinderella
A Wapakoneta girl, born with a heart condition, had one wish — meeting Cinderella at her castle.
Four-year-old Nevaeh Walp had her wish granted — where dreams do come true.
She, along with her family, traveled to Florida to meet Cinderella and other princesses at Walt Disney World, through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The family, which included Nevaeh’s parents, Tina and Jon Walp, and her sister, Gabrielle, 7, joined Cinderella for breakfast in her castle.
Nevaeh, was diagnosed with the heart condition, tetralogy of fallot, the day after she was born. The toddler was born with the heart defect.
“They (doctors) heard a murmur in her heart, so they transported her to Toledo Children’s Hospital to have a heart catheterization,” Tina said.
It was the first of seven heart catheterizations Nevaeh would have.
She also has had three open heart surgeries, the first when she was only 2-months-old. Nevaeh had her last open heart surgery three years ago.
Born without pulmonary arteries or a pulmonary valve, Nevaeh also had a hole between the lower and upper chambers of her heart. Doctors told her parents it was the worst case scenario.
Since, her doctor has told the Walps that Nevaeh continues to surprise him. Through the improvements she’s made, cardiologists have said she’s doing better than they had expected.
Doctors have described it to her parents as a pretty amazing case.
“She had a rough start, but she’s doing great now,” Tina said.
She said several people told her about the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and after sending in an application, Nevaeh’s wish was granted.
The Walp family returned home from Florida a week ago, where they said they all had an amazing time, visiting three Walt Disney World theme parks and Sea World, and staying at the “Give Kids the World” village, which is partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to offer families a cost-free fantasy vacation.
“They had different activities in the evening, and they give you complimentary tickets to every park,” Tina said of the village which had a life-sized Candy Land game, putter golf course, ice cream shop, arcade, and a Gingerbread House restaurant with peppermint candies in the tables.
Other than meeting Cinderella, Nevaeh said one of her favorite parts was riding the flying Dumbos and the Toy Story ride at Walt Disney World.
“It was fun,” Nevaeh said. “I got to meet Woody, Jesse and Buzz Lightyear.”
The family met a long list of Disney movie characters throughout their visit. “I felt Rapunzel’s hair,” Nevaeh said proudly.
While at Sea World, Nevaeh got to pet stingrays and dolphins, which she also got to feed.
Nevaeh said the stingrays didn’t have stingers and were slimy and soft. Her first time traveling to Florida and visiting Walt Disney World, Nevaeh said she had a lot of fun and did not want to go home.
Tina said her daughter is doing well now and she is thankful for what Make-A-Wish Foundation and Give Kids the World has done for Nevaeh.
“She’s a walking miracle,” her mom said.