November 12, 2017 7:28 pm

Disney dream trip for West Kelowna girl

8-year-old Alia Essington was surprised with a trip to Disneyland on Sunday.

Byron McLuckie / Global News
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The 8-year-old and her family are headed to Disneyland this week thanks to the Sunshine Foundation of Canada, which fulfills wishes of kids with severe physical disabilities or life threatening illnesses.

Alia Essington was born with a genetic condition that causes her to have seizures and in August Alia faced another health challenge. A serious case of pneumonia meant the little girl had to be air lifted to Victoria in the middle of the night and undergo emergency surgeries.

“[It] kind of came out of nowhere. Makes you truly know how precious life can really be,” said Alia’s mother, Amy Essington.

“After everything that happened in August we said she needs a smile more than anything so I reached out to [the Sunshine Foundation]…they said, ‘We would love to send her.’ So we get to put that smile on her face that we were hoping for.”

In August Alia faced another health challenge. A serious case of pneumonia meant the little girl had to be air lifted to Victoria in the middle of the night and undergo emergency surgeries.

Courtesy: Amy Essington

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The trip is a dream come true for the little girl because of her love of the Disney film Frozen.

Friends and family gathered at a West Kelowna business on Sunday to reveal the surprise and Alia shrieked with delight as she ripped open a box to reveal suitcases inside.

After worrying their daughter might not pull through the pneumonia scare, watching Alia receive Sunday’s surprise was a gift for the whole family.

“It is just so overwhelming for us to see her smile,” said Amy Essington.

“It is just wonderful.”

The West Kelowna family heads off to Disneyland this week where they are looking forward to enjoying time together without the stress of medical appointments.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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