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Seattle Make-A-Wish sends five-year-old to Disney World after intense cancer battle (KOMO News /Hannah Knowles)
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Seattle Make-A-Wish sends 5-year-old to Disney World after intense cancer battle

It's not every day you get to see a wish come true.

For passengers aboard Alaska Airlines Flight 16 to Orlando on Tuesday morning, that's exactly what they saw — magic.

5-year-old Maeve McNelis was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when she was 18 months old.

Since then, her mom said it's been a long, hard battle with most of her young life spent within hospital walls.

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"Her treatment was really intense," said Bethany McNelis, Maeve's mom. "It's cancer that attacks the nervous system. She had a tumor, it was very high-risk, stage four and aggressive."

Dressed in her best cowgirl attire, suitcase in hand and backpack ready to go, Maeve and her family were escorted through security with airline employees to a gate transformed for the big surprise.

"We are at Sea-Tac airport and Maeve's wish is coming true," said Kathryn Mueller, the spokesperson for Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington said. "Seeing her smile shows the mission of Make-A-Wish. We want to make these wishes for life-changing illnesses and to see her happy and smiling at the gate, it's unbelievable.”

Both Maeve's parents are pilots for Alaska Airlines and in charge of Tuesday's flight was her uncle.

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"It is really special to have all of us on this flight," McNelis said. "Finally we have this time to celebrate. Short term, let's have some fun. Long term, I hope it sparks generosity in my kids that they learn a lot from Make-A-Wish."

Maeve's wish was Make-A-Wish's 8,000th wish.

The first wish was in 1986, granted to a 3-year-old who wished to “fly in the sky to see Mickey.”

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