GUILDERLAND, N.Y. – In celebration of Believe Day, a three-year-old Schenectady girl kicked off her upcoming wish.
Kennedy Decker and her family dropped off letters to Santa on Friday and prepared to celebrate her upcoming wish – a trip to San Diego and a visit to the San Diego Zoo.
When Kennedy was just 17 months old, she was diagnosed with stage four hepatoblastoma, the most common form of liver cancer in children. In addition, Kennedy’s cancer spread to her lungs.
According to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, “children whose tumor has spread outside the liver rarely survive long-term.” But after nine months of chemotherapy, Kennedy was cancer free.
Macy’s “Believe” campaign invites children to mail their letters to Santa at their local Macy’s store. For every letter mailed, Macy’s will donate $2, up to $1 million, to Make-A-Wish.
On Friday afternoon, Kennedy and her family arrived at Crossgates Mall for an adventure, and as soon as her letter to Santa Claus was placed in the mail her wish was granted.
“We were kind of looking at what wishes were coming up,” Kirsten Broschinsky with Make-A-Wish said. “We saw Kennedy’s story, and we wanted to just do something that was gonna kind of really get people’s hearts. And, I mean, you’ve seen her face. She’s adorable!”
“Every special moment that she gets, it’s kind of like, ‘Ok, fine. You went through hell. Here’s a good thing. Here’s a good thing apart of your life that you get to experience now for it,’” her dad Nathan Decker said. “So it’s kind of nice to even the balance of the scales of life.”
Kennedy and her mom Lauren received a mini-makeover, which included a manicure. Her journey continued to a private part in “Kennedy’s ‘Frozen’ Room” where she and her brother Marin ate pizza and cupcakes and received gifts for their upcoming trip.
“It was great seeing her that way and seeing her running around and being happy and being a kid,” Lauren said.
The Deckers will head to San Diego in February. They will visit the zoo, the safari park and Legoland as an added bonus because Marin loves Legos.
In addition to Kennedy’s wish, Macy’s is helping grant more than 50 wishes across the country to create a day of “Wishes Across America.”