Valley woman is paying it forward through Make-A-Wish

Some call them miracle workers, others their fairy godmother. Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.
December 23, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Some call them miracle workers, others their fairy godmother. Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.

The Central California Chapter works every day to fulfill the dreams of kid's right here in our area.

These are just a few of the faces of wish kids, who've had their dreams come true. From meeting basketball star Kobe Bryant to hanging with Mickey Mouse at Disneyland.

Ronni Valle is the wish director behind many of those requests, at the Make-A-Wish Foundation Central California.

"It's huge," said Valle. "It's giving them back a sense of control, especially the child."

Valle has a deep passion for helping others, after having her own make a wish experience in 2008, her daughter Natalia was diagnosed with a brain tumor and after treatment, was told she only had months to live.

Valle told Action News, "They asked Natalia, if you could go anywhere, if you could be anything, if you could have anything, if you could do anything in the world, what would your most heartfelt wish be?"

Her dream was to go Cancun, Mexico and swim in the warm water. Within a month, every detail was taken care of and the family, put their worries aside, and headed to Mexico. The highlight of the trip, swimming with dolphins.

Valle added, "She was free and suddenly she had her belly laugh back and her sense of humor back and for Natalia that was huge because that's all she was before that."

Valle says that trip gave them peace of mind and precious memories. After the vacation, Natalia lived beyond her two month diagnosis, but her time eventually came to an end.

"When we lost her in March, she kept going back to Cancun in her mind," said Valle. "She was swimming with the dolphins, she was eating pancakes on the beach."

And it's that moment, she says, that propels her every day to help hundreds of other kids and their families.

"This gives me a lot of strength, it gives me part of a purpose," said Valle. "It allows me to carry her name throughout everything we do."

Paying it forward by making other wishes come true.

Valle volunteered at Make-A-Wish so much, she was eventually hired as the wish director.


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