‘Wish Kid’ visits Catalina Island with her family

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Several local sponsors in conjunction with the national non-profit Kids Wish Network, have helped make a wish come true for a seriously ill Northern California girl. Last Tuesday at 1:25 p.m., a specially-chartered Eurocopter AS350 touched down at Pebbly Beach bearing Cecilia Her and five members of her immediate family for a four-day adventure on Catalina.  

The charter was the generous donation of Island Express Helicopters, which owns the chopper.

Several local sponsors in conjunction with the national non-profit Kids Wish Network, have helped make a wish come true for a seriously ill Northern California girl. Last Tuesday at 1:25 p.m., a specially-chartered Eurocopter AS350 touched down at Pebbly Beach bearing Cecilia Her and five members of her immediate family for a four-day adventure on Catalina.  

The charter was the generous donation of Island Express Helicopters, which owns the chopper.

A full range of events is in store for the Stockton, Calif., family, including tours, fine dining and just plain lounging in the sun.

Besides Island Express Helicopters, donations of time and services were made  by Catalina Island Inn, Catalina Tours, Blue Water Avalon, Descanso Beach Club, Catalina Segway Tours and Three Palms Avalon Arcade.

It’s the first trip to Catalina not only for Cecilia, but for each of the members of her family as well.  On their way to the Island, Island Express Helicopters gave the family a special aerial tour of Avalon Bay and the East End, with which they were all impressed.

In March of last year, Cecilia was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a relatively rare disease that normally tends to affect older people.  

Being a form of leukemia, it is characterized by overproduction of white blood cells that accumulate in the bone marrow, interfering with the normal production of red blood cells. After the diagnosis, Cecilia began several rounds of chemotherapy, which left her with a weakened immune system.  

This weakening of her immune system resulted in a continuing string of severe infections, which required regular hospitalization.

Last September, Cecilia completed her fourth and final round of chemotherapy.  According to the Kids Wish Network, this final round of treatment was successful and at this point Cecilia is considered to be “in remission.”

“I’m just looking forward to spending time with my family and getting away from all the bad things that happened last year,” said Cecilia of her visit to Catalina.

Cecilia began taking online college courses while still a sophomore in high school.  She has continued these courses throughout her illness.

Kids Dish Network was founded in 1997 and is dedicated to “infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children who are experiencing life-altering situations.” More information on the group can be found at www.kidswishnetwork.org.

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