Eduardo couldn’t hold back tears as he handed gifts to his daughter, Daniela, on her 8th birthday – her wish day. It was one year ago today that she was diagnosed on her 7th birthday.
That first month was the hardest. Her hair fell out when they started doing treatment and that was the worst. Her dad, Eduardo, said a part of him felt guilty, wondering what did he do and how did she get this. Daniela received daily treatment for six months. Now, she goes in for chemotherapy and blood draws once a month. Every three months, Daniela is given anesthesia and then treated with chemo drugs directly into her spine. That’s the one that bothers her. She’s afraid of it. But she’s doing so much better. Each time they go in, she’s doing a little better and getting healthier.
On her wish day Daniela, who attends Hathaway Elementary School in Oxnard, was out on a walk with her aunt and uncle as the rest of her family prepared her birthday surprise. Daniela knew relatives were coming over to join her family, including her three brothers, Eddie, 14, Jesus, 11, and Manuel, 4. What she didn’t know was that Make-A-Wish® Tri-Counties would be there to grant a wish she made a few months ago.
Cherie and Leo Maciel, who are Wish Granters, arrived with Daisy, a 4-month-old Yorkshire terrier puppy Daniela had asked for. “I’m just so surprised right now,” Daniela said when she got Daisy, showering her with hugs and kisses. “I wasn’t expecting to get her today. I’m so excited.” As Daniela sat on the couch with the puppy, her brother Manuel brought her more gifts, most of them various supplies for the dog. “This one’s for mom, though,” said Cherie, handing mom a large bottle of odor and stain remover. “Trust me. You’ll want that.”
In addition to bringing Daisy, the Maciels brought several months of puppy food and treats, a bed, outfits for the dog to wear, a book about Yorkshire terriers, a leash, food and water bowls, and other items. The wish also included vaccinations and having Daisy spayed as well as training.
“I’m going to stay up all night with Daisy,” said Daniela. “My mom had two dogs before I was born, but this is my first one. It’s the best birthday I’ve ever had. I almost cried.” Leo noted that you couldn’t ask for anything better. “Look at the smile on her face,” he said. “To see her like this is just remarkable.” Eduardo added, “I’m just so blessed to have my daughter here.”