16-year-old Amanda, diagnosed with cystic fibrosis
Living with cystic fibrosis is a moment-by-moment struggle that Amanda has known since she was a little girl. Now 16 years old, Amanda swallows her medication with grace and endures her doctors' visits with courage.
Still, there are days when Amanda's challenges overshadow her determination. At a time when other teenagers are beginning to discover their independence, Amanda sometimes feels tied to her illness and its many burdens.
A wish gave Amanda more than the chance to discover a dream - she also discovered the power of choice. Amanda was involved in every aspect of her wish experience, from deciding to swim with the dolphins to selecting where she wanted to travel.
At Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida, Amanda immersed herself in the adventure that she had chosen. Her illness felt miles away as she explored the coral reefs, traveled down the tropical river, and viewed exotic birds and fish. According to her mother, when Amanda swam with the dolphins, she "gleamed from ear to ear."
"Words cannot express the joy that was on my daughter's face," said Amanda's mother. "This is an experience she will never forget. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts."