Shayleen’s eyes scanned the enclosure hoping to catch a glimpse of the wild animal inside. Emerging from the tall grass, a cheetah made its debut. Holding her breath, Shayleen watched anxiously to see what the big cat would do next.
Without notice, the cheetah sprinted across the safari exhibit; its once clear spots becoming a blur. Shayleen began to smile knowing this was what it was like to see a cheetah in its natural habitat. It was among sprinting cheetahs and the rest of the animals of the San Diego Zoo, Shayleen’s wish was granted.
“After all of the hardships and treatments Shayleen has been through, it was nice to see her just be a kid again and laugh. She had a smile on her face almost the whole time,” shared Shayleen’s mother speaking to the joy she saw a wish bring her daughter; joy she had not seen since her diagnosis with leukemia.
“No one truly knows what these kids go through or how they are truly feeling. After watching my kid be poked and prodded and getting sick from the treatment, it was so nice for her to get a change not to worry about her next appointment and get to see such wonderful things; just to be a normal kid and to smile. The wishes that kids get are a change to just forget about hospitals and everything that goes with them and just breathe a sigh of relief. That’s exactly what I wanted for Shayleen and that’s what I got.”