In 2020, an Arizona girl named Ana was diagnosed with a medical condition that would result in her permanent blindness in a few years. Some local policemen are working to ensure she gets to see Sleeping Beauty Castle, her favorite Disney characters, and the rest of Disneyland while she still can.
According to Fox affiliate Phoenix 10, the little princess’ relationship with her knights in blue began when they rescued her and her siblings from neglectful, drug-dependent home life.
“There was a vehicle that was underneath some trees, so we went out and make sure,” said Beau Wagner, a K-9 handler with Avondale Police. “It was probably July. It was real hot. As we approached the vehicle, there was a female outside, and when we looked inside the vehicle, there were four kids.”
“Ana has just been family since day one,” said Officer Joseph Turitto with Avondale Police.
But two years ago, Ana was diagnosed with a rare disease called Usher’s Syndrome.
According to the National Eye Institute,
Usher syndrome is a rare genetic disease that affects both hearing and vision. It causes deafness or hearing loss and an eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Sometimes, it also causes problems with balance.
People who have Usher syndrome are born with it, but they usually get diagnosed as children or teenagers. There’s no cure for Usher syndrome, but treatments can help people manage their vision, hearing, and balance problems — so it’s important to talk to your child’s doctor right away if you notice symptoms.
“Eventually, it will take almost all of her vision,” said Ochoa. “It is a race against time. We don’t know when it will happen, we just know it will happen no matter what.”
It was after this diagnosis that Ana’s lights got the idea to make the most of her time and do what they could to ensure that she got to see “The Happiest Place On Earth” while she still could.
“One of the suggestions that was brought up was ‘hey, let’s do a fundraiser for her so she can go to Disneyland with her family, and experience that before losing her vision,’” said Marcus Patterson.
The Avondale Police Officers are close to achieving their goal. If you want to learn more about Ana’s story and their fundraiser, click here.
We at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers on Disney Parks news and stories as more developments come to light.