Sapir, a long time Shalva participant, is also one of Shalva’s favorite ambassadors. When dignitaries from around the world come to visit and learn, Sapir is right there to present them with a rose and her signature heart-melting smile.
Sapir grapples with progreria, a rare syndrome that causes young children to show signs of extremely accelerated aging. However, her symptoms are not merely physical.
Recently, Shalva contacted the Make-A-Wish foundation on Sapir’s behalf. Make-A-Wish helps dreams come true for children grappling with the most difficult of diseases and syndromes.
Sapir (and her family) chose to go to EuroDisney (now known as Disneyland Paris). Make-A-Wish allowed Sapir to bring along chaperones on this memorable trip. Sapir and her family chose to include members of Sapir’s “Shalva family” as well, her After School Activity Center aide; a volunteer who has been escorting Sapir through her afternoon activities for five years. This shows what Shalva means to Sapir and also to her parents: we are one Shalva family and they rely on our support, both practically and emotionally, to make their dreams come true.
And what a trip it was! Sapir rode the rides, danced with the princesses and climbed to the top of breathtaking castles. The total Disney package.
Sapir’s visit to the theme park was a perfect example of real-life inclusion in action. Her presence alone generates the kind of awareness that Shalva endeavors to instill. Sapir’s journey teaches us that no obstacle can prevent us from getting the most out of life.
Now that Sapir’s back at home, she; along with the whole After School Activity Center, had a blast moving into the brand new Shalva National Center.
And for Sapir, stepping off the plane and into the National Center, “It’s like going from one dream and right into another.”