2016-07-07 / Community

Dreams do come true for local girl


ALOHA—Justine Ordona of Agoura Hills is thrilled when she learns that she and her parents are about to go to Hawaii. The 16-year-old’s dream was fulfilled by the Make-A-Wish Foundation June 28. 
Courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation ALOHA—Justine Ordona of Agoura Hills is thrilled when she learns that she and her parents are about to go to Hawaii. The 16-year-old’s dream was fulfilled by the Make-A-Wish Foundation June 28. Courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Making wishes come true is the least that can be done for children facing life-threatening illnesses.

Justine Ordona, a 16-yearold girl from Agoura Hills who has lupus, had a dream to go to Hawaii. That dream was fulfilled June 28 when the Make-A-Wish Foundation visited her home and told her to pack her bags, the trip was on.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that attacks healthy cells and tissue and can damage joints, skin, organs and blood vessels.

Justine was diagnosed with the illness in 2013 after she’d been hospitalized for a week because of a low white blood cell count. Last year she had a stroke that caused multiple organ failure, but she is well on her way to a full recovery.

In March, wish-granters Brad Oskow and Natalie Burns paid Justine a surprise visit to discuss her top three desires.

At the time, the teenager, who likes baking, wanted to meet Buddy Valastro, host of the TV series “Cake Boss,” and bake a cake for Children’s Hospital with him.

Also on her wish list were a vacation to Hawaii and making a film about her experience with lupus to help educate the public.

Justine made the Hawaiian holiday her top priority.

Make-A-Wish volunteers came to her home last week to announce that her request had been granted.

Justine and her parents, Jeff and Jessica, were given a trip to the island state free of charge.

The five-day, all-inclusive trip to Oahu includes a helicopter sightseeing tour, a snorkeling adventure and free time to explore the island.

To make the wish-granting extra special, Make-A-Wish personnel came to the Ordona home beforehand and set up Hawaiianthemed decorations in the dining room while the family was away. They also brought several gifts and Hawaiian-style pizzas to mark the occasion.

To learn more about the organization, visit www.wish.org.

Sylvie Belmond

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