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October 5, 2013

Group makes area girl's wish come true

By Mark Boshnack Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — An Oneonta girl dealing with a life-threatening condition will soon be seeing her favorite Disney characters after a dinner date with an area organization.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central New York arranged for dinner at Applebee’s with 10-year-old Isabelle Ewing and her family Friday night so they could make a wish come true. The organization grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions between the ages of 2½ and 18.

Organization wish-granters Michelle Jones and Kelly Oshum surprised Isabelle at her favorite restaurant, accompanied by her family. They told the girl before dinner started that the organization was sending her and her immediate family on a 1½ week trip to Disney World, with all expenses paid and spending money.

Isabelle’s parents, Lauren and Sarah Ewing, and her brother, Jack, 6; and sister Teresa, 12; were present, as were grandparents Bill and Sandy Renwick.

While Isabelle seemed surprised at the news, she was visibly moved when the wish-granters gave her a bag “with a little something.” It was a Minnie Mouse doll and blanket that she immediately hugged. Her No. 1 wish was to see Minnie Mouse and Tinker Bell, she said.

“I really wanted to go there,” she said. “I love it.”

Her parents talked about Isabelle’s situation before the presentation was made. Lauren said he applied to Make-A-Wish online a month after his daughter had a rupture of an abnormal collection of blood vessels embedded in her brain stem in May.

Sarah stayed with her daughter during the 78-day hospitalization and rehabilitation. There’s one more surgery coming up shortly that could help Isabelle have a normal life, her mother said, but it will take two to three years to know. It was hoped that she will be able to walk again in a couple of months, she said.

Make-A-Wish contacted them a couple of weeks ago to set up the event, Lauren said.

Grandfather Bill said he wanted to express his thanks to Make -A-Wish.

“We really appreciate it,” he said, and Isabelle’s parents also expressed their thanks. “The community has been awesome,” he said.

Sarah said she has been on leave from her job as an aide at the Plains of Parish Homestead since he daughter got sick in May. There is a spaghetti dinner fundraiser from 5:307:30 p.m. on Monday.

Lauren is a detail manager at Country Club Imports. Both of their employers and the community have been very supportive with fundraisers and private donations, Sarah said.

Jones said she wanted to thank Applebee’s, the Southside Mall and Pizza Land in Oneonta and the Valley Cafe in Morris as the local sponsors of Isabelle’s wish.

Make-A-Wish is looking for wish-granters in the area to help other children. Anyone wishing more information can contact communications manager Bethann Kistner at 315-475-9474 or 800-846-9474, or email