Anchorage girl has her Make-A-Wish dream fulfilled thanks to Target and Bailey’s Furniture
10-year old girl gets shopping spree of a lifetime
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Tuesday was a dream come true for 10-year-old Lauren Guice as she had a shopping spree to remember, all thanks to Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington. Channel 2 Photojournalist Mike Nederbrock tagged along as she went from aisle to aisle in search of some of her favorite things.
“This makes me feel really good because I never had a shopping spree like this before and if this was any normal time at a place I would get told to ‘no’ to most of the stuff I got,” said Lauren.
With her mom, dad and two sisters, Lauren got every frequent Target shoppers dream, to have the whole store to herself for a few hours.
“It means a lot. You know with the pandemic and everything going on, she hasn’t really been in the store, said Guice.
It was originally scheduled for the first of the month, but they moved it to the 11th.
The wish was made possible by both Target and Bailey’s Furniture, a long-time supporter of Make-A-Wish. The furniture store granted Lauren’s wish for a new 5-piece bedroom set and Target helped her fill her room and closet.
“She’s very excited. She is here with her whole family. Her parents, her two sisters. She’s 10 and this is just like, this is going to be a great day in her life. She wished to have a shopping spree and it’s nice because it’s something we can actually grant right now,” said Sharon Barr, Make-A-Wish Volunteer.
Barr says currently there is a list of more than 500 “wish kids” waiting to see if their wish will be granted. So far, around 135 had to be postponed due to them being travel-related wishes.
“We are doing wishes like this, shopping spree or there are some local travel wishes that can be granted. Like there is a child that’s going to be going on RV trip with his family,” said Barr.
You are probably wondering, what did Lauren buy? Well here is a shortlist of some of the items she said she placed in her cart:
-A bag set
-A clubhouse toy
-A new tablet
Barr added Lauren had over $1,000 to spend at Target after most of the money, around $3,000 was spent at Bailey’s Furniture.
“Make-A-Wish exists to give children hope,” said Barr
“It just means a lot to us that she gets to do this. So many people have supported her and you know, sent gifts, cards, and words of encouragement,” said Guice.
Lauren was diagnosed with an ovarian tumor in February. But the story started a month prior.
“Literally, she was fine and out of nowhere, she had a fever. We thought it was the flu, we went back and forth to the doctor and they kept saying ‘Oh it’s just viral” cause there was something going around then,” said Lauren’s mom.
Guice said even after visiting the doctor, things didn’t improve for Lauren.
“February 8th, we will never forget the day. I took her to Alaska Regional because she was doubled over in pain and after they did some x-rays they saw that she had a 10-pound tumor in her abdomen and her right lung was collapsed,” said Guice.
The family then went to Providence Hospital and on February 10th, Lauren had the surgery to take out the tumor.
“It could have not went no better,” said Guice. “The tumor came out in one piece.”
Following the surgery, Lauren started chemotherapy.
Make-A-Wish says Lauren finished chemotherapy on May 5th.
“In June we had scans, and so far no evidence of disease. She’s back to our healthy loveable 10-year-old Lauren,” said Guice.
Once her private shopping experience at Target wrapped up, she went home to wait for Bailey’s Furniture to deliver new bedroom furniture.
If you thought the Target and Bailey’s Furniture gifts are awesome. Lauren’s mom said a family friend even gave her a puppy!
“Miniature dachshund, we named her Kepler.” Guice added, “It’s just amazing how everyone came together for a little girl they didn’t even know.”
“I’m really happy with my wish,” said Lauren.
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