Local teen with terminal cancer gets dream trip thanks to a stranger


INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — You might remember the heartfelt story about 17-year-old Miriam Sawka. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and at the beginning of November, she decided to invite friends and family to a "FUNeral" to celebrate her life.

People all across the state were inspired by her positivity, and one person in particular, decided to do something special for the Sawka family, so they could spend some quality time together making magical memories.

With that being said, the whole Sawka family — Miriam, her sisters and her parents plus a friend packed their bags for an unexpected trip to Disney!

"When this gift was just given to us, her sparkle just came back, and she blossomed back into whom she's always been," said Dan Sawka, Miriam's father.

On Nov. 2, Miriam invited people to celebrate her life in a fun way. At her FUNeral, Miriam gave her own eulogy.

"I would love to have more time,” said Miriam. "I would love if there was a cure, but I can't wait to get to heaven."

After all the emotions from this day started fading away, Miriam says her spirit started to wither, too. But then, out of the blue one day, someone who heard about Miriam's story reached out and wanted to grant the Sawka's one last wish.

"It's given us something to look forward to,” said Miriam.

Miriam’s father added, "Not to sound cliché, but to be cliché, Disney is the most magical place, and to be able to just be able to recapture what our life has been. What our life is and to just keep that lasting legacy that we can smile. We can laugh. We can cry. We can go through all the gametes of emotions because Disney is the most magical place."

As cliché as this also sounds, it’s a place where dreams really do come true.

"It's really not about the food or the rides or anything about Disney," said Miriam. "It's us spending time together, and I'm really looking forward to it. I mean everything about Disney is great, and it's great, a great plus. But definitely just looking forward to some family time."

The Sawkas gets back from Disney Tuesday night. Before leaving for Disney, they celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas at the same time because they're not sure how much time Miriam has left here on Earth.

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