Three-year-old Plainfield girl gets Disney wish
By Frank Vaisvilas Correspondent September 23, 2013 12:38PM
Three-year-old Ava Zapp, of Plainfield, will be heading to Disney World thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation | Supplied photo
Updated: October 26, 2013 6:10AM
PLAINFIELD — Three-year-old Ava Zapp, of Plainfield, would have had the chance to meet Buzz Lightyear and Woody in April if she didn’t have to undergo a much-needed kidney transplant.
Ava has been suffering from kidney disease since she was born and had to receive regular dialysis treatment.
On top of that, Ava was on a large regiment of medication and on a very restricted diet.
“The first three years were more challenging than they are now,” said Ava’s mom, Paige Zapp.
But to help lift Ava’s spirits, her dialysis counselor had nominated her for a free trip to Disney World in Orlando sponsored by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and American Airlines’ Something mAAgic Foundation.
She was scheduled to leave in April with her family before they received news that a kidney had become available for Ava, her mother said.
The transplant was a success and, her mom says, Ava is doing much better.
“Now, she can be a normal kid,” Zapp said.
Ava’s trip to Disney World was re-scheduled for this week and it’s all Ava’s been thinking about, her mom said.
“Every time we leave the house, she asks if we’re going to Disney World,” Zapp said.
While shes there, Ava’s scheduled to meet her favorite characters from the movie “Toy Story.”
“She’s just starting to get into princesses,” Zapp said.
Ava, her parents, Zapp’s sister and nephew will visit attractions such as the Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center and Sea World.
“She’s been through so much,” Zapp said. “I feel she deserves this.”
Ava was scheduled to join a three-year-old boy, Sergiol, from Carpentersville on the flight, and they were expected to meet with other children sent by the Make-A-Wish Foundation at a village for them in Disney World.
Yezenia Gonzalez, spokeswoman for Something mAAgic Foundation, said American Airlines has, so far, provided free flights for 37 children and their families from all over the world to Orlando this year. In total, the airline provided free flights for more than 400 children during the past 18 years.