Wish kids’ dreams come true with Disney on Ice stars

INDIANA — Every day, Brenda Hays is inspired by her daughter, Christy.
A 14-year-old student at DuBois Area Senior High (DASH), Christy spends her time as if she has nothing holding her back.

An honor roll student, Christy volunteers her time at Christ the King Manor, playing games with the residents and also making crafts.
She is currently knitting blankets to donate to the local police departments and the ambulance service for trauma situations and accidents.

She's also greatly involved in 4-H, hoping it'll put her on the right track to a career in veterinary science.

All of this is what defines Christy, making her a fighter. Because every day, she has to fight juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, a disease from which she suffers.

"Her determination is what inspires me," Brenda Hays said of her daughter. "Her determination to help others, no matter what she's going through — she wants to help other people."

Every day, Christy deals with extreme pain, almost constantly.

The juvenile rheumatoid arthritis started in her ankles and her knees, and just recently, it has moved to her hips.

"She keeps me going," Brenda Hays said. "But what keeps her going is her goals. She wants to be a vet. She is determined to keep going."

In September, Christy's wish came true.

She and her mother took a trip to Disney World, where Christy had the chance to meet Tinker Bell, her favorite Disney character.

"It was awesome," Christy said. "It was like the best experience of my life. I have loved Tinker Bell since I was little. She has Tinker Bell wings, and I have always wanted wings — real wings — since I was little."
Friday, Christy had the opportunity to meet two other famous Disney characters, Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

She, along with two other Make-A-Wish children, ice skated with the stars of Disney on Ice, at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex (KCAC) in Indiana.

Christy, who is suffering from a mild sprain and just got off crutches Thursday, was not sure if she would be able to ice skate.

But she put on a brave, determined face, and ice skated for only the second time in her life, with Disney On Ice star Mark Lauzon.

"My ankle was starting to hurt, but I didn't want to tell my mom because I still wanted to skate," Christy said. "I'm determined like Tinker Bell, because she has this attitude that not everything can stop her. And I feel the same way. Try, try and try until you get it right."

Although Christy is only a freshman at DASH, she already has grand plans for the future.

She wants to go to college and major in veterinary science, but since that's three years away, she's going to continue to focus on her studies, including all of her extra-curricular activities, including: 4-H, swimming, softball and oil painting. She said she might even want to take on ice skating as a new activity, after getting a little taste of the sport.

"I couldn't have had a better time in my life," Christy said. "Make-A-Wish makes your dreams come true."

After the personal afternoon skate, the three Wish kids, along with their families, stayed at the center to enjoy Disney On Ice: Mickey & Minnie's Magical Journey.

During the show, the audience joins Mickey and Minnie Mouse as they go on a journey into the magical world of Disney's "The Little Mermaid," "The Lion King," "Peter Pan," and "Lilo & Stitch."

Show times for Disney On Ice: Mickey & Minnie's Magical Journey, continue today and Sunday at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex in Indiana.

Performances are at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. today; and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.