Pam Georgeson, store manager for Macy's in Riverpark, helps Jazlean Vega open gifts during a scavenger hunt. A cancer survivor, Vega is going to New York thanks to Make-A-Wish Central California. Photo by Donald A. Promnitz
Written by Donald A. Promnitz
A Fresno girl is headed for the Big Apple to celebrate the end of her cancer treatments and fulfill a dream she shared with a loved one.
Jazlean Vega, 14, will be travelling to New York thanks to Make-A-Wish Central California. She was previously diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer of the muscles and tissue. She began chemotherapy last September; this Halloween, she went into remission after 13 months of treatment.
“She’s such a brave girl,” said Alanna Vega, Jazlean’s mother. “She’s never stopped smiling through the whole process, even days where she felt insecure. She’s a warrior with everything.”
Earlier this week, Jazlean also had her Mediport catheter removed earlier this week.
“[It’s] exciting because I can do sports,” Jazlean said, “I can do dance without worrying about it getting hit and breaking.”
Jazlean’s trip was revealed at the Macy’s store in Riverpark, where she was greeted with live music, travel essentials, a scavenger hunt and a Royal Coach Taxi Limo, the largest New York-styled stretch taxi in the United States. It is the fulfillment of not only her own dream, but of her late uncle, Michael.
“They would mess around and say that they were going to climb the Statue of Liberty together,” Alanna said. “Obviously that was never going to happen, but they would play around with stuff like that, and I’m not too sure why my brother always wanted to go to New York, but since he has passed, may daughter feels like she’s taking him to fulfill that dream now.”
Make-A-Wish Central California has 220 children still in waiting for wish fulfillment, said Cortney Snapp, their community director. To help, Macy’s is collecting letters to Santa at their stores for their 10th annual “Believe” campaign, matching a dollar for each letter up to $1 million to donate to Make-A-Wish.