Wish granted: Valley teen, high school band headed to Disneyland

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Valley Vista High School band has one last show to wrap up the school year, and it's at The Happiest Place on Earth.

They're headed to Disneyland to play in a parade and it's all happening because Abby Lomas wished for it.

"They really helped me a lot to be comfortable with myself and to feel confident in music and also the person I'm growing to be," she said.

Abby has been battling cystic fibrosis since she was a toddler. Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. About 1,000 new cases are diagnosed every year.

A couple of years ago, Make-a-Wish Arizona asked Abby for her wish. She wanted to take her band to The Happiest Place, but she thought it was going to be a short trip. Tuesday morning, though,  the crew was surprised with tickets for another day.    

"Amazing. It's an indescribable feeling because when we first talked about it, it didn't feel real, and now that we get to go an extra day it's amazing. It's unreal," Lomas said.

With its platoon of big-hearted volunteers and donors, Make-a-Wish Arizona has made numerous wishes come true for kids dealing with life-threatening medical conditions.

"We have about 600 volunteers. They're called wish granters. They go out to the home and meet with the children and find out exactly what their wish would be," Hollie Costello with Make-a-Wish Arizona explained.

For Abby, making a wish that wasn't just about her was easy.

"They've been there for me through the whole process, me growing up and becoming more independent and that really meant more to me than just going with my family, not that my family doesn't mean much to me, but the band is my family, too," she said.

Costello said it took four years to put all the pieces in place to make Abby's wish come true. In addition to the logistics, it is rare for Disneyland to allow a high school band to be part of its parades.

"Being in this band has been a blessing, and they mean the world to me," Abby said. "That's why I want to share my wish with them. As a band, I want everyone to experience the impact of having a wish come true and what better place to do that than at Disneyland."

Hundreds of kids are still waiting for their wishes.