OUR JOURNEYS

Patient story

Julia VandenburgJulia Vandenburg

The Best Day of My Life

I have Pulmonary Hypertension and I got to make a wish through the Make-A-Wish.Foundation. My dad contacted Make-A Wish and a representative came to my house to interview me. It just so happened that she lived down the road from my house and we have become friends with her family. She asked me all about the things that I like, but more importantly she wanted to know my wish. I told her that I like playing with dogs and cats, and watching Lizzie Maguire. I also told her my wish was to meet Hilary Duff.

The next thing I knew there was a white stretch limo sitting in my driveway picking up my dad and me. We were off to the Hilary Duff concert! Finally after a five hour ride (eating snacks and watching movies) we arrived at the hotel . Our room was really cool, we unpacked and then I went swimming in the indoor pool. After that my dad and I went dinner at T.G.I. Friday’s.

Julia VandenburgThe next day we went snow tubing at Montage Mountain. It was the first time I ever saw the ski slopes and I thought they were really pretty. I had so much fun and definitely want to do it again. We went back to the hotel to get ready for the concert. I wore a brand new outfit that my Mom-Mom bought for me and a necklace that Make-A-Wish gave me that says, “When You Wish Upon a Star.”

Julia Vandenburg with Hillary DuffIt was finally time for the concert. A black limo came to pick us up at the hotel and drove us to the Wilkes Barre Arena. I was the very first person in line to meet Hilary Duff. I even brought her a box of dog biscuits for Little Dog Duff who goes on tour with her. She was so surprised that I thought of her dog that she laughed and gave me a big hug. It was so much fun and really exciting.

After I met Hilary we found our seats and my dad told me that he was going to the men’s room, but he actually went to buy me a sweatshirt, two tee shirts, and a hat. It was such a big surprise when he came back with all that stuff for me. The concert began and the crowd was so loud when Hilary Duff came on stage. My favorite part of the concert was when she sang “So Yesterday.”

This was a dream come true, and I owe it all to Make-A-Wish!

 

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The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) awarded PHA the Abbey S. Meyers Leadership Award in 2012 for outstanding service to PHA members in advocacy, education and other key areas.