A Cinderella story unlike any other

Just another Tuesday, with snow in the air. But for a young lady named Lisa, this November Tuesday is anything but ordinary. This is the day her wish will come true. Lisa is the fourth wish child of Make-A-Wish ®Luxembourg, an organisation granting the wishes of children with life threatening conditions.

Photo Lisbeth Ganer © 2013 Lisbeth Ganer / Make-A-Wish

Esch-sur-Alzette, 11.00: A stretched white limo glides up in front of a primary school, and passers-by may get a glimpse of none other than Prince Charming. He has brought a sparkling shoe, and he’s looking for the girl whose foot it will fit.

Lisa de Jesus is 9 years old, and she has a rare progressive condition called Proteus Syndrome, characterized by overgrowth of the bones, skin, and other tissues. This is an age of hopes and dreams, and one of Lisa’s big dreams is to be a princess. Her family would give anything to be able to let their very own little princess be Cinderella for a day, making her dream come true. In a Cinderella story like this one, the magic wand belongs to Make-A-Wish ®Luxembourg, who swung their wand upon a November Tuesday.

Lisa’s school, 11.30: Lisa’s teachers and class mates wave goodbye as she leaves school as a true Cinderella on the arm of Prince Charming, dressed in blue to match his princess. Off they go in the limo, with loud music and laughter, and even a TV team, as a modern Cinderella should. The prince is not only elegant, but also gallant and generous, and he takes Lisa and her three best friends to lunch – at McDonald’s as becomes a princess of nine.

Photo Lisbeth Ganer. © 2013 Lisbeth Ganer/Make-A-Wish

A wonderful day for Lisa

Less than 1 in 1 million people worldwide get Proteus Syndrome. It results from a random genetic change during the early stages of development before birth, disrupting a cell’s ability to regulate its own growth, allowing it to grow and divide abnormally. Proteus Syndrome may lead to several complications, such as pulmonary embolism which is life threatening.

Differdange, 13.00: After the royal burgers, it’s time to make Cinderella and her friends beautiful for the ball, and the hairdresser is waiting. The castle for the day is the US Embassy, and the Ambassador and his wife are more than happy to be king and queen. Cinderella and her friends mingle with other royal guests such as Snow White and of course the prince, while sipping tea from the most delicate cups and savouring cupcakes as blue as Cinderella’s dress. A face painter, a magician and a balloon artist are there for their royal entertainment.

Photo Lisbeth Ganer. © 2013 Lisbeth Ganer / Make-A-Wish

US Embassy / castle, 17.00: Time to leave the ball, especially when you’re a 9 years old princess who doesn’t have all her strengths. In a modern Cinderella story like this one, Tuesday night is school night. Lisa will go back to her everyday, different from the everyday of most of us, still sparkling like a princess – because “whatever you wish for you keep”.

Make-A-Wish volunteer Lisbeth Ganer sums it up: «It was a wonderful day for Lisa and her friends, with a lot of lovely smiles».

Photo: Lisbeth Ganer. © 2013 Lisbeth Ganer / Make-A-Wish

Go here for more information on Make-A-Wish ®Luxembourg

By Unni Holtedahl, just another November Tuesday 2013