Cheerleader for a day! Make-a-Wish makes young Valley girl's dream come truePosted: Updated:
The Phoenix Suns' dance team welcomed a special new member Wednesday night: a 10-year-old named Ella Parkhill.
It was a dream come true for the Valley girl, and on Thursday's Good Morning Arizona, Ella and her mom joined us to talk about the once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Ella has an incurable form of hypertension, which causes weakness in her heart and lungs.
So, thanks to Make-A-Wish Arizona, Ella became an honorary Suns dancer, one of the youngest dancers to ever hit the hardwood and perform before the crowds.
They performed to a mix of music selected by Ella herself during halftime of the Suns game.
"In Ella's case, you could tell that she was just in awe of all the dancers, and the dancers have been so great with her. We couldn't be more happy," said Hollie Costello of Make-A-Wish Arizona.
The response to Ella's performance has been overwhelmingly positive.
"Social media has been inundated with so much Ella traffic," says Carly Parkhill, Ella's mom. "Every time I get another pop-up, I just cry again, because it's another fan who just wants to wish her well."
Ella has two life threatening conditions. She was born with a rare chromosomal deletion syndrome. Then later, she was diagnosed with severe pulmonary hypertension, which means her heart and lungs have to work very hard to keep her alive.
Ella loved music and dancing the Make-A-Wish Foundation was going to send her to New York to do something with the Rockettes. However, travel is very difficult for her.
So they worked the Suns to make Ella a Suns Dancer for a day.
Both mom and daughter say it was an experience of a lifetime.
"It was overwhelming," says Carly Parkhill. "We got picked up by a limousine and were greeted by the Suns dancers by the curb.