CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — Anna Ritter has a lot of souvenirs from her Disney World adventure last summer, but one of the greatest takeaways is in her mind: A memory of meeting her favorite princess from Frozen, Anna.
“It’s said a different way but spelled the right way, like my name,” she says with an infectious giggle.
The seven-year-old was diagnosed with a rare liver condition called Budd-Chiari syndrome when she was just one. During a routine scan for it last spring, doctors found an aggressive inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor in her chest.
“It was earth-shattering. We were devastated,” Anna’s mother Megan remembers.
Just six weeks later, they bounced back from the grief as a family.
“We had her on a little treasure hunt,” her dad Todd describes. “She just ate up all of it, and there was her surprise.”
With a cell phone camera rolling the whole time, Anna’s wish surprise was granted. She screamed with excitement when she learned she was going to Disney World.
“Hooray for Anna, your wish came true. You’re going to Disney, hooray for you,” Megan read the final note of the backyard treasure hunt, forever captured in a video the family treasures.
The trip came with the V.I.P. treatment for everyone. There were also plenty of firsts.
“I went on a Dumbo ride,” Anna remembers.
The Wish also provided a much-needed break from medicine and hospitals.
“They gave us hope, gave Anna hope and just to watch her smile is unbelievable through everything,” Megan says. “Watching her feel like she was the princess of the entire place was just so magical.”
8News is once again a proud sponsor of the Greater Richmond Walk for Wishes. It raises money to grant wishes to kids battling serious illnesses across our region, like Anna.
The Walk for Wishes is Saturday, April 30 at Stony Point Fashion Park. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. The walk starts at 8:45 a.m. Click here for more information.