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Make-A-Wish Sends SF Girl With Heart Defect To Disney World

February 7, 2014, 5:01 PM by Hailey Higgins

Make-A-Wish Sends SF Girl With Heart Defect To Disney World

“We kind of look at her like our miracle child," Carrie Rehnke said.

Dancing down the hall at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport, Dylan is about to have her greatest wish-come-true.

"I'm going to Disney World," Dylan said.

Along with her parents and seven-year-old sister, 10-year-old Dylan is on her way to sunny Orlando, Florida.

The excitement comes after years of unknowns. Dylan was born two months premature with several health issues including a heart defect.

"She's definitely had more struggles than most children but every day that she's here is a miracle," Carrie said.

This little girl has undergone 13 operations, including two open heart surgeries. She was most recently given a new heart valve in 2012. And for the Rehnke family, the support from Make-A-Wish is overwhelming.

"It's hard to feel like we're deserving because we can always see someone who has it worse," Brian Rehnke said. 

"It's sometimes hard to remember that she's been through a lot and is in fact, deserving of where we are heading today," Carrie said.

The Rehnkes will be in Orlando for a week. They will be staying in a villa on the Disney World campus reserved for Make-A-Wish recipients.

"I was excited," Dylan said.

With a positive prognosis and now healthy enough to travel, Dylan is excited to meet her idol.

"Cinderella because she's my favorite princess," Dylan said.

Rehnke's latest check-up shows her heart is in good condition and she's not expected to undergo another heart surgery until she's an adult.

Make-A-Wish is funded by donations. If you'd like to help a child with a life-threatening illness, click here.

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