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Granting a cherished wish; 4-year-old visits Disney World

By Austin Jackson | Published Saturday, December 8, 2018
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Wish Granted

WISH GRANTED – Make-A-Wish foundation Wish Granters Kelly Read and Deena Martinez sit with Delylah Taylor, 4, of Alvord Wednesday night at CiCi’s Pizza and Buffet in Decatur. Dyer, who has battled brain cancer for the past two years, was granted her wish of going to Disney World. Messenger photo by Austin Jackson

Beyond the flashing lights of the arcade, a little girl from Alvord with curly hair and bright eyes chomps down on some pepperoni pizza Wednesday night at Cici’s Pizza and Buffet in Decatur.

It’s a common sight. Pizza is one of 4-year-old Delylah Dyer’s favorite foods and the chain is one of her favorite spots. But the Dyer family doesn’t take the common for granted – not anymore.

MAKING MEMORIES – Delylah Dyer, 4, of Alvord has battled brain cancer for the past two years. The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted her wish of going to Disney World Wednesday. Submitted photo

Not since the tumors started to grow again. Not since the treatment stopped.

Every moment is one to cherish with the shy little girl who has proved to be fierce in the face of cancer.

“She’s the toughest kid I know,” said Delylah’s mom Felicia Dyer.

In October – after 15 months of rigorous treatment, eight rounds of chemotherapy, stem cell treatment and radiation then being declared cancer free in February – the neuroblastoma came back. A relapse.

The 4-year-old has battled brain cancer for the past two years.

“It’s been hard to watch her go through everything she’s gone through,” Dyer said. “She’s handled things that could put grown men down like a champ.”

Delylah’s options have been exhausted. The prognosis is measured in weeks to months.

But on this Wednesday night, with grueling days and nights spent on hospital beds surrounded by doctors in the rearview mirror, Delylah finds herself surrounded by family and friends wearing T-shirts with her name on it.

There were balloons, cake and nice ladies in blue shirts.

The Make-A-Wish foundation was waiting in the wings. Mickey Mouse was in the building and Delylah’s wish to go to Disney World had been granted a few weeks earlier than the original plan.

But what was most important for Delylah in that moment was mom and dad, pizza and cake.

On Friday, she was whisked away to Disney World in Orlando, where she hopes to meet her favorite princesses, Elsa and Anna from “Frozen.”

The Make-A-Wish foundation moved up their wish reveal from Dec. 18 after hearing news of her condition. Wednesday was a bad day for Delylah – headaches, grogginess and nausea. She has good days, too. But not as often as she used to.

Dyer said her main concern at the moment is keeping Delylah comfortable at Disney World and at home. She doesn’t know what to expect in the coming days.

“It’s going to be a first for all of us,” Dyer said. “We’re excited. We’re trying to keep her excited. Every day is off and on. Today has not been a great day. We’re just going along with it.”

Comfort, peace and familiarity have been the goal since October. Letting Delylah be a kid instead of a patient. At Disney World, she’ll be a princess.

“We want her to be at home with her siblings, at school with her friends, surrounded by the people that she loves,” Dyer said. “Not hospital beds and monitors.”

Instead of a procedure that would have resulted in more rough nights in the oncology ward with a high risk of trauma for small chance of success, Dyer opted for comfort and quality of life for her daughter after the relapse.

“If she’s going to have her soon-to-be last days, I want them to be good ones,” she said.

The Dyers will stay in a special cabin for Make-A-Wish recipients in Disney World.

Wish granter Kelly Read of Decatur along with two other Make-A-Wish members from the Metroplex helped grant Delylah’s wish.

“I just want to see her smile,” Read said. “That’s what we do. We just want to help put a happy face on them.”

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