Wishes in Flight: 6-year-old princess wish comes true

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - I've had the pleasure of not only working with Adam Huntimer first at KDLT and now, here at Dakota News Now.

But I’ve also been able to become friends with him, his wife Amy and his three daughters Alexis, Haley, and Holly.

This is a family that has also been impacted by Make-A-Wish through his daughter Holly's cancer journey.

Holly Huntimer is a princess-loving 6-year-old, a little sister to Alexis and twin sister to Haley.

But in the fall of 2018 is when the Huntimer family first realized something was wrong.

"Holly just kind of started complaining of an earache something just wasn't right about her. She didn't want to play with her sisters, she just wanted to sit in her room with the lights off," said Amy, Holly's mom.

After an ultrasound on her face, followed by a CT scan, "That's when we found out Holly had been diagnosed with parameningeal rhabdomyosarcoma, which is a tumor. She had a tumor about the size of a lime inside the soft tissue of her cheek on the right side of her face."

Holly received weekly chemotherapy treatments, and during her 8 weeks at the Mayo Clinic she'd also receive proton radiation to her cheek at the same time.

"When they said the diagnosis, it was go time."

Spending lots of time at the Sanford Castle in Sioux Falls, Holly became a known figure.

"She was known as little Elsa. She had her Elsa pajamas on, she has an Elsa wig she wears."

Through Make-A-Wish, Holly was able to make one of her wishes come true and no one was surprised when she asked to meet Queen Elsa.

But before Holly would have this dream of hers come true, she had to keep fighting to get there.

"We really used the saying 'You got to keep fighting, you got to keep trying. You know, I know this is hard and I know it hurts but, you know, your wish is coming and you got to keep fighting for your wish' and that really helped Holly fight."

Like it has for so many, Holly's wish helped her to look beyond sickness, and instead keep her focus on the bigger, more exciting picture.

"It gets pretty dark some days and it's really a bright light in a little kid's day and future."

In December 2019, Holly and her family flew to Disney World to finally make her dream come true.

"We wanted it to kind of be, you did it let's go on this trip, you are a fighter, let's go."

During her time in Disney World, Holly and her sisters got princess makeovers and special one on one time with Iconic Frozen characters; Queen Elsa and Anna.

"I got a braid like this, I got a crown like this with snowflakes..." said Holly.

"It was very emotional," said Amy," Her meeting Elsa, it just she just lit right up and she was so happy. It made it all worth it. And as a parent I was just bawling because she just worked so hard and we really went through a lot... as a family. It was just a huge weight lifted off our shoulders that we could take a week and just enjoy us."

One way you can help is by donating unused sky miles to Make-A-Wish.

It helps families like the Huntimers make their wish come true and get the family time they need.

You can make a difference in the lives of children across South Dakota.

This Thursday, we'll be taking you to the "Wishes in Flight Campaign" telethon.

It's sponsored by "Make-A-Wish South Dakota".

You can donate unused airline miles, which are then used to grant life-changing wishes for kids with critical illnesses.