Miles for Smiles: Marie’s Trip to Hawaii

Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 10:20 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Back in the fall, 13-year-old Marie Hanson found out her dream was coming true thanks to Make-a-Wish North Dakota. She was surprised with the trip to Hawaii during her Discovery Middle School basketball game. In fact, she thought basketball was the reason she wasn’t feeling quite right in the first place.

“All basketball season I was having terrible pains in my legs and body. I thought I was probably exhausted. I’ve never played this much basketball before, that must be what it is,” Marie said.

Instead, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She and her family were in for a fight they never expected.

“She’s tough. There were many days she was the tough one, and my wife and I were the emotional ones,” her father, Chris Hanson, said.

“It was hard. It was a lot of ‘you can’t do that’ ‘sorry, that’s not allowed’, says Marie.”

The family made it through together. Marie had no hesitation about picking Hawaii for her wish.

“I’ve seen all the pictures, and it just looks so fun,” said Marie.

Now she has pictures of her own. She had one big goal in mind for the trip: to jump in the ocean. It was accomplished thanks to donors like you.

“The support network we’ve had the whole time along and then to see it still happening when she’s done with treatment, it’s just so amazing,” said Erika Hanson, Marie’s mom.

The Miles for Smiles drive is Wednesday. CLICK HERE for information on how to donate.

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