On Saturday, six-year-old Maci Eldridge of Stevensville was the star of a very special “Frozen” princess party, complete with a coterie of other young princesses and other royalty, courtesy of Make-A-Wish. Maci first got pampered at Kutting Edge Salon, where her hair and nails were done and she donned her princess dress with tiara and earrings. She was transported to the party at Three Mile Fire Station by Ravalli County Sheriff Holton, where she was lavished with presents, cake and fun and games. About 30 people attended including family members and friends and volunteers from Make-A-Wish. The Sheriff then gave Maci a ride back to her home in Stevensville.
Maci was born with a heart condition called Hypoplastic left heart syndrome, according to her grandmother, Robin Kester, who is raising Maci. She has had three surgeries – first when she was a newborn, then at six months old, then last year.
“She’s a happy kiddo, she’s gone through so much,” said Kester. “She likes to make friends and she likes people in general. She’s my hero.”
Maci just finished kindergarten and will be going into first grade at Stevensville.
“She’s gotten through a lot of hurdles,” says Kester. “She still goes to physical therapy. She was speech delayed but now she’s up above her age group. I tell her what’s what, I’ve told her about her surgery. We google what we don’t know. She wants to learn.”
“She loves dresses,” added Kester. “She’s a little glamor girl. She’s bright and smart, she giggles a lot, she loves to sing.”
Make-A-Wish South Dakota & Montana creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Research shows that children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight their illness. The South Dakota & Montana chapter has granted more than 2,200 wishes for children in the local community. Together with generous donors, supporters, staff and more than 30,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish South Dakota & Montana and 58 other chapters throughout the U.S. have granted more than 340,000 wishes nationwide. For more information about Make-A-Wish South Dakota & Montana, visit wish.org/sdmt.