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COVID-19 causes Make-A-Wish to put children's wishes on hold

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Posted at 10:21 PM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-15 22:21:00-04

Three-year-old Audrey is one of about 2,400 children across the United States whose Make-A-Wish request had to be put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"My name is Audrey and I wish to see fireworks at Disney World!" said Audrey.

The toddler is battling a rare cancer and the Make-A-Wish Foundation was working with her parents, Shane and Becca, to make her wish of seeing Disney’s fireworks come true. Sadly, COVID-19 has put that on hold.

"We had a pretty large party planned for Audrey for her third birthday,” said Shane. “It was also not just a birthday party, but it was going to be an end of treatment party."

Instead of the party, Make-A-Wish helped family and friends put together a surprise parade, complete with cake and her favorite Disney characters all helped make it special.

"We've seen her sadder and sicker than any little child should ever be, so to see her so happy, it's the happiest I've seen her since treatment started," said Becca.

Audrey's parents say in some ways, the pandemic has felt like cancer treatment. COVID-19 is reminding them of when Audrey had to be put on a ventilator.

"It is so deeply terrifying and it is so awful, that if staying home is what is gonna make this help in any way, people should be jumping up and down that they could save even one person from being on a ventilator," said Becca.

After having her wish put on hold, Audrey’s parents say they think the trip to Disney will be even sweeter.

The foundation says they're still granting wishes whenever possible. For those that have to wait, Make-A-Wish has started a "Messages of Hope" campaign on social media.

"We're asking everyone to say something to our amazing wish kids and let them know that there's a community of people that is there for them, and we really want these messages to come straight from the heart," said Frances Hall, VP of Mission Advancement at Make-A-Wish America.

To share your message with wish kids, tag the foundation with @MakeAWish and use the hashtag, #WishesAreWaiting.