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Our daughter, Georgiana McAlpine, 10, was fortunate to receive a wish from Make-A-Wish Canada this past July!
She was diagnosed with PAH in February 2020 at the age of six, after four months of frequent episodes consisting of syncope and seizures triggered by almost any form of exertion. Walking just 500 meters from our home to her school, where she attended kindergarten, would cause an episode. My husband and I became very used to carrying her wherever we went.
Fortunately, after her diagnosis and eventually getting the chance to meet the amazing Pediatric PH team in Edmonton who prescribed the proper medications, Georgie’s health began to stabilize. This meant she started to think about her wish to go to Disney World regularly, but we had to wait until COVID restrictions were lifted and wish trips were permitted again.
The wait paid off for our family as our wonderful Make-A-Wish coordinator, Janelle Sweet, offered us the opportunity to join 39 other Canadian families in July 2023 for the 40th Anniversary of Make-A-Wish Canada, granting wishes to Disney World! It was an amazing opportunity, but we needed to run the idea past her PH team - a week of walking in Florida's humid, 35C heat seemed a bit risky. Fortunately, our team made a lot of great suggestions for ways to keep Georgie comfortable and safe. Georgie, her twin Calais, and her older sister Vaila were ecstatic!
We spent 6 to 7 hours a day for five days at all different parks and had an incredible time. The heat definitely affected how long we stayed each day – our girls were happy to see what they could and ride some great rides and then head back to the Give Kids the World resort to relax and swim! We were able to make the most out of the trip by utilizing strollers or wheelchairs to push Georgie around so she didn’t get overly exhausted, carrying around many bottles of ice water, and staying cool in the airconditioned rides. Thank goodness Wish families receive a Fast Pass ticket to skip the ridiculously long lines and escape the heat!
Our whole family appreciates the wish Georgie was granted and knows how lucky we are that her health has remained stable for so long, allowing her to go on this trip! We made memories we’ll remember for years!
Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World

Selena McAlpine, Caregiver

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