The closest you can get to seeing real lions, giraffes and zebras in Pasadena, MD, is by going to the zoo. While battling leukemia, 12-year-old Ashley spent much of her time watching nature channels on television and learning more about her favorite animals. When she learned Make-A-Wish®
Mid-Atlantic would be granting her one true wish, Ashley knew immediately that she wanted to go on an African safari to see her favorite animals in their natural habitats!
The VIP treatment began before Ashley even left for her trip, with a special wish celebration hosted by Sanders Jewelers. Sanders went all-out with the theme, greeting Ashley with safari-themed balloons and treats, and giving her a special charm bracelet courtesy of Jewelers for Children. Ashley’s mom said the whole celebration was awesome and the Sanders Jewelers staff “absolutely went overboard to give Ashley a cool experience.”
Ashley’s wish trip took her to the Amakhala Game Reserve in South Africa, where she got to see her favorite animals up close – at some points, Ashley could almost touch the lions as they walked by their Jeep! She loved seeing all the different animals on the game drives, but the highlight was when Ashley and her sister found a group of elephants, including a one-week-old baby elephant, on a trail on the very last day.
After three years of treatment, Ashley’s wish to go on an African safari gave her whole family the perfect way to celebrate the end of a long and difficult medical journey. For years to come, her safari-themed charm bracelet will provide her with happy memories of the trip of a lifetime.