Make A Wish grants local 8-year-old girl and family a trip to Hawaii
DULLES, Va. (WJLA) - Surfboards, tissue flowers and Georgetown cupcakes are all making 8-year-old Lorelei's wish come true today.
It's all part of a party at a departure gate at Dulles Airport, as Lorelai and her family prepare to take off on a flight to Hawaii.
The party was thrown with the help of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, as Lorelai has a life-threatening heart condition.
"Lorelei is missing half of her heart - the left ventricle," Lorelai's mother, Chelle McIntyre-Brewer, explains.
Lorelai's dream is to go to the island where her favorite Scooby Doo movie was filmed.
Though a bit shy from all the attention she was receiving Tuesday, Lorelai has been a brave girl her entire life, and proven to have a strong will.
"She's my hero," said her father, Steve Brewer. "I've never met anyone stronger than her."
Even before being born, Lorelai was diagnosed with a congenital heart condition. Her parents are hoping this vacation will help her forget the 6 surgeries she's had since - even if for just a few days.
"There is always that bittersweet aspect - why we are here," her father said. "She wants to do a luau and surf lessons."
Lorelai arrived at the airport in style, in a stretch limo. She was greeted by a group of adoring well-wishers, including the pilots and a police dog, who made sure her little brother Killian got a goodbye kiss, making big sis giggle.
Lorelei's wish of going to Hawaii is one of hundreds of wishes granted each year locally. This wish is actually falling on Make a Wish Day, commemorating when it all started back in 1980.
Thousands of wishes granted nationally, equaling about one every 30 minutes.
Perhaps most important to Lorelei is that fact that her dad, a solider with the Army, was able to make the trip.
"She refused to go without me, which I thought was very sweet," said Brewer.