FORT WAYNE, Ind (WANE) – A 4-year-old girl from Fort Wayne will get to swim with dolphins, thanks to the Make-A-Wish foundation. The organization is sending Jaylee Marks and her family on a six-day vacation to Hawaii, in which she’ll get to touch, feed and play with dolphins.
Jaylee is blind and cant’ speak. Since she was born, she’s suffered from epilepsy, cerebral palsy and quadriplegia.
“She’s just been through it all and despite it, she just smiles and laughs through it all,” said Paige Friemion, Jaylee’s mother.
Those who have seen Jaylee’s smile, describe it as unforgettable.
“She can just change anybody’s mood,” said Josh Marks, Jaylee’s father. “There’s no bad day for Jaylee.”
On Sunday, The Make-A-Wish Foundation held a wish party for Jaylee where they surprised her family with a check that would pay for the entire Hawaii trip.
Friemion said can’t wait to see her daughter with the dolphins. She said being in the water is Jaylee’s happy place.
“Since she’s been really young, she has a love for water,” Friemion said. “She can’t move a whole lot on ground. So in the water, she’s so free.”
Friemon told Make-A-Wish that Jaylee loved water when she signed up for a wish. The foundation, then, thought of the idea for her to swim with dolphins. Wish granter Sarah Phongchaleun has been working with the family and said Jaylee has taught her a lot.
“She doesn’t have vision,” she said. “She can’t see. She can’t speak. Just to see someone who’s still so happy all the time, smiling even though she doesn’t speak. You can tell how she’s feeling [though]. I mean that teaches you a lot about happiness. Maybe not picking [on] the small things. Just being happy with what you have.”
Jaylee’s parents said this vacation will create memories that they’ll hold in their hearts forever.
“I just know she’ll be happy,” Friemion said. “I want to bring that smile to her face. She deserves it. She’s been through so much and I know she’ll love it.”
The trip to Hawaii is scheduled for June 10-15, 2016. On June 11, Jaylee will have a 10 minute meet and greet session with dolphins in a shallow water lagoon.
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