Elina visits the City of Lights

Elina grew up surrounded by pictures of her parent’s trip to Paris.  Just 9 years old, Elina lives with cystic fibrosis but has not let her condition get in the way of her big dreams. She loves camping and hiking or hanging out by the beach, she’s learning to play the guitar, she has her own YouTube channel, and she’d really like to be a circus performer one day. But most of all, Elina dreamed of seeing the City of Lights.

Although Elina has travelled to many places with her extended famliy, her Paris adventure was the first trip she and her parents would take on their own. It was a smashing success. “Elina embraced the city,” says her mom, Michelle. “She absolutely fell in love with Paris. The boulangeries, the walking, the train, all of it. She said, ‘Mom you know I'm meant to be here’."

While Elina and her family enjoyed seeing all of Paris—the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Disneyland Paris, Versailles, a cruise on the Seine—they enjoyed being away from Elina's illness. “Chronic illness takes its toll on the entire family,” notes Michelle. “There is just more to do and doing it is critical. More stress, more appointments, more trips to the pharmacy or hospital—chronic illness can take over your life. This trip made life for one week all about finding fun and this amazing opportunity to focus on Elina and what she WANTED to do not what she HAS to do.”

Elina still needed to manager her condition while on her wish trip, but somehow everything seemed different. “Cystic fibrosis takes no holidays. There were still treatments that had to get done but at the end of it were these amazing rewards.”

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