For Alyson, Thanksgiving morning has always meant wearing pajamas, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV and enjoying the delicious aromas wafting in from the kitchen.
As good as those living room memories are, she never thought she’d see the iconic holiday parade in person. Alyson is diagnosed with a life-threatening respiratory condition. Unfortunately, that can mean frequent surgeries, infection and hospitalizations. But when Alyson was 6 years old, Make-A-Wish® stepped in -- right when she could use a little hope in her life.
“Our family was stressed by the numerous treatments, worries and frustrations of dealing with such a life-limiting disease,” Alyson’s parents wrote in a letter to Make-A-Wish.
Fall in New York City
Her parents weren’t at all surprised that Alyson's wish involved shopping. Even better, Alyson was able to go shopping at Macy’s in New York City -- on the same weekend of the Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“Shopping at Macy’s during Thanksgiving time was like entering into a wonderland,” her parents wrote. “We will never forget how her face lit up looking at the Christmas displays.”
Alyson’s favorite part of the wish? Having her own personal stylist and personal dressing room. (What fashion-loving girl wouldn’t love that treatment?)
“The personal shopper helped me to pick out coordinating and trendy outfits,” Alyson said. “I was treated like royalty. My shopping experience and watching the parade helped me to feel like I was, if only for a moment, the most important person in the world. I think of it often and am reminded of it when we shop at our Macy’s store in Columbus, Ohio.”
Time for the Big Parade
For a little girl who grew up enthralled with the TV version of a parade she describes as “magical,” seeing it happen in person was an awe-inspiring experience.
“I felt like a VIP celebrity being able to watch the start of the parade,” Alyson said.
It’s been a few years since Alyson’s wish was granted, but she still treasures the memories many years later -- especially every Thanksgiving morning.