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'From the bottom of my heart, thank you': 8-year-old battling cancer gets her Disney wish thanks to generous strangers

12 News viewers stepped up in a big way and helped push the fundraiser made to get Mali Maltos to Disneyland well past its goal.

PHOENIX — Back in October, the family of 8-year-old Mali Maltos reached out to 12 News to help make her wish happen after it was canceled. 

Mali had been selected by a charity that grants wishes to sick children. Her wish was to go on a Disney Cruise.

Everything was arranged and ready to go when the global pandemic hit. Her cruise was canceled, and Disneyland was shut down.

Representatives from the charity attempted to come up with alternatives, but with Mali experiencing health setbacks, the time was not right for her to travel or take part in a wish experience. Her wish status was placed on indefinite hold, according to her family.

That’s when a family friend stepped in. Candace Greene, who was Mali’s sister’s Art Teacher, started a GoFundMe to get Mali to Disneyland.

RELATED: 'Mali deserves to go to Disneyland': A community is working to get an 8-year-old girl battling cancer to Disneyland

12 News viewers stepped up in a big way and helped push the fundraiser well past its goal. The extra funds were used to set up hotel reservations, meals, and travel expenses.

On Christmas Eve, Mali was presented with tickets to the magic kingdom. With the help of one of Snow White's Seven Dwarfs, Dopey, Greene recorded a video from Disneyland revealing that Mali’s wish came true.

“Everybody who donated, everybody who followed this story, from the bottom of my heart, thank you,” explained Monica Maltos, Mali’s Mother. “You have one happy little girl and one happy big sister who gets to join. I can’t thank you enough. Merry Christmas to everybody and thank you for making this happen.”

Mali can now concentrate on her recovery and take her dream trip when she is feeling ready. The family is hoping a bigger trip will be possible sometime this summer because Mali is now in full remission. 


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