Seven-year-old MaKayla is a little girl bursting with creative energy. She enjoys painting, dancing, and singing along to pop songs, especially those by her favorite artist, Beyoncé.
MaKayla loves the catchy tunes and captivating lyrics of Beyoncé’s music. However, she also recognizes the hard work, encouragement from others, and strength that it took for Beyoncé to become the superstar she is today. This message – that hope does exist and dreams do come true – is an especially important one for MaKayla, who has had far from an easy life.
MaKayla was born with Epidermolysis Bullosa, a life-threatening connective tissue disease that causes blisters to form on the skin. MaKayla’s condition makes it difficult and painful for her to move, let alone dance along to her favorite songs.
However, MaKayla has not allowed her illness to slow her down. Her positive outlook has become a walking image of Beyoncé’s most powerful songs, like “Survivor,” “Irreplaceable,” and “We Run the World.”
When wish granters visited MaKayla, she told them her one true wish was to meet Beyoncé. Beyoncé’s songs had helped MaKayla get through some of the most challenging moments of her disease, and the chance to meet her hero would create memories she would never forget.
Make-A-Wish® went to work pulling together every last detail to make MaKayla’s wish day perfect. When the big day finally arrived, MaKayla and her family received the VIP treatment of true celebrities. Describing the experience, MaKayla’s grandmother explains, “These were days of my life I will cherish forever. Everything was so amazing.”
MaKayla’s special day began with a trip to the Mall of America, where she and her family ate delicious food, played at an indoor water park and took pictures with characters like SpongeBob and Dora the Explorer.
The next stop was a salon, where MaKayla got glammed up for the concert later that night. With sparkly blue nails and a beautiful hairdo, MaKayla could have been mistaken for the show’s main act! “She felt just like a princess and it was her day,” recalls MaKayla’s grandmother. After enjoying dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant, the whole family was transported by limo to the venue.
When the family arrived, they could barely contain their excitement. “MaKayla’s leg would not stop wobbling!” says the Make-A-Wish, wish escort Colleen, who greeted them.
The family was shown to their seats, and MaKayla’s siblings danced and sang along to the opening act. MaKayla, however, patiently waited for the moment she had been dreaming of.
The family was escorted backstage and into the Meet and Greet room. A few moments passed before Beyoncé opened the door and walked into the room. MaKayla grinned from ear to ear as she hugged her idol.
While some children would be shy when meeting such a huge celebrity, MaKayla was barely fazed. She gave Beyoncé a bead necklace, a few pictures she had painted, and even sang some of her favorite song, “Single Ladies,” with the star.
The two instantly bonded and MaKayla was thrilled when Beyoncé told her how honored she was that MaKayla wished to meet her.
When the meet and greet concluded, it was time for the main performance. Beyoncé came onstage and MaKayla amazed her family by standing up and dancing! MaKayla’s grandmother remembers, “My granddaughter jumped out of her wheelchair and ran to the left then ran to the right and started dancing and singing. I was in disbelief.” Colleen recalls the remarkable moment as well, telling Make-A-Wish, “Her mom and grandma were so shocked because she has such a tough time moving. She was so entranced with the show.”
Beyoncé paid special attention to MaKayla and her family during the performance, even encouraging them to sing “to the left, to the left” into the microphone.
MaKayla’s condition was far from her mind as she sang, danced and watched her hero on stage that evening. In a letter to Make-A-Wish, MaKayla’s grandmother describes the true impact of her granddaughter’s wish day:
“MaKayla has endured constant pain her entire life. I just wanted you to know that for forty-five minutes of my granddaughter’s life, she was pain free. My heart was so heavy I wanted to cry. A cry of joy to see that for those few minutes, she didn’t know what pain was. Thank you so very much for giving my family and me a moment in our lives that we will never ever forget.”
A truly “Irreplaceable” experience, MaKayla’s wish gave her the chance to live out one of her greatest dreams with her family by her side. She was a normal kid, full of joy, as her heartfelt wish became a reality.