By Marcy Stamper
Isabella Curtis, her three siblings and her parents are spending the week at a dude ranch in Texas to celebrate 6-year-old Isabella’s cure from leukemia, courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Isabella had her last chemotherapy treatment in July, ending three years of treatment, the first nine months of which necessitated moving the entire family to Snohomish so they could make regular trips to Seattle Children’s Hospital.
“She was an amazing champ of a patient,” said her father, Charlie. Although Isabella still needs regular blood tests and check-ups, “she’s considered cured at this point,” he said.
The family, friends and two “wish granters” from the Make-A-Wish Foundation had lunch at La Fonda Lopez in Twisp (the meal donated in part by owners Alejandro and Cristina Lopez) on Saturday to go over arrangements for the trip.
The foundation works with families throughout an illness, and ultimately fulfills whatever wish the child makes. You can go anywhere in the world, said Charlie, but Isabella and the rest of the kids are enamored of horses, so they looked for a place where they could all ride—even 3-year-old Luke, who can ride accompanied by an adult.
Although Isabella was only 3 when she was diagnosed, “she knows she had a life-threatening disease and that she beat it,” said Charlie. Since the whole family moved to Snohomish during her treatment, Isabella’s older brothers, Ilo, 9, and Abel, 11, spent a lot of time in the hospital and all learned a lot about coping with serious illness, said Charlie.
The two wish granters came to the Methow two years ago to discuss Isabella’s wish, and narrowed it down a few months ago, said Sheri Harvey, a wish granter from East Wenatchee, who made the trip with another volunteer from Kennewick. Along with plane tickets and gifts with an equestrian theme, they brought a cake decorated with horses, mountains and a corral, and the inscription, “Have a gallopin’ great time, Bella.”