Adrianna Hitchcock, 6, is not a real princess or queen, but she will be treated like one very soon when she goes to the magical land of fantasy royalty — the one place she has always wanted to go —Disney World.
It would be especially deserving so for a young girl who is battling and winning a fierce fight against a bone cancer that almost took her life.
Make-A-Wish Mississippi joined forces with the law firm of Balch & Bingham in downtown Gulfport Thursday to surprise Adrianna with a special grant of her wish. She was met outside the law firm’s boardroom by famous Disney character Queen Elsa from the movie “Frozen,” along with Alanha Dukes, the reigning Miss Mississippi Junior Teen United States.
“With any child’s wish, we want to make sure it’s their one true wish,” said Shellie Moses, South Mississippi director of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. “No matter what they want, we want to make sure that it’s over-the-top phenomenal.”
“She really deserves it. It’s good seeing her get this,” said Michael Hitchcock, Adrianna’s father, while fighting back tears. “Everything was touch-and-go. They didn’t really know if she was going to make it. But she’s made a full recovery and is now in remission.
“All the money we had to spend, the traveling, the missed work, it’s made everything worth it, just to see her moving around and not hooked up to a machine.”
That dreaded machine was at the Blair Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson, where Adrianna and her family spent much of the last year receiving treatments after she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Ewing Sarcoma, which grows in bones or in soft tissues near bones and normally attacks teens older than 10.
Dukes relates to Adrianna’s battle. A few years ago, she was herself a Make-A-Wish recipient when she was fighting cancer.
“I think it’s very important to help her know how important she really is, because when you’re sick, you don’t really think you’re that important,” said Dukes. “She’s going to be so happy that she gets to go to Disney World. I feel this is going to help boost her confidence a lot.”
Balch & Bingham partnered through Mark Alexander, an attorney on staff who also serves on Make-A-Wish’s board, but was unable to be present for Adrianna’s surprise.
“We just think it’s a real special opportunity to grant a wish like this to a small girl who’s been struggling and has a lot of challenges in her life,” said Managing Partner Ricky Cox.
“Anytime we have anybody from the business community that wants to partner with us, we get very excited, because it’s not something that happens all the time,” Moses said. “We looked at a group of kids that were possible good fits for them … we just decided that Adrianna would be a good fit.”
Adrianna had her pickings of treasures inside the law firm’s boardroom that was transformed into a Disney-themed room. She named Cinderella and Moana as her favorite Disney princesses, but also loves the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and is excited about visiting Animal Kingdom.
The Hitchcocks leave Monday for Disney World for about a 10-day excursion.