The Girl Who Enchanted Animals

Our tale is set in an enchanted forest, which is known to inhabit mythical and mystical creatures such as elves, fairies, and gnomes. And perhaps the most unique of them all – even more unique than unicorns – our fair maiden, Arizona – the Girl Who Enchanted Animals.

Arizona - The Girl Who Enchanted Animals
Ever since birth, Arizona has had a connection with animals, for instead of making the sounds of a typical infant, she mewed like a cat.

Life would not be easy for our fair maiden. At just two days old she had surgery to repair a blockage in her intestine as well as an appendectomy. But she faced many more challenges ahead as further blood work would reveal that she had a very rare condition.

The Girl Who Enchanted AnimalsKnown as Cri du chat syndrome (cry of the cat in French for the distinctive sounds made during infancy), Arizona’s challenges would include the inability to walk and talk.

Very few doctors have ever encountered a maiden like Arizona and because they knew so little about how her life would evolve, they were not optimistic.

But Arizona’s mom knew she was a very special girl and that she would be capable of great things. And so far – in her six short years – she has already achieved so much!

“According to what you might read about her syndrome, they say the children will never walk, talk, and won’t live past the age of one,” shared mom Sherri. “She has far exceeded doctors’ expectations.”

The Girl Who Enchanted Animals

Arizona making friends at camp

Arizona’s key milestones include pushing the pedals on her trike, riding a horse all by herself, and taking her first independent steps at age three (mom believes she will be able to walk fully independently in the near future).

Arizona also loves roller coasters, playing in the water, and anything Disney – all of which she can experience at enCourage Kids Escapes like trips to Six Flags, weekends at camp, and movie days.

The Girl Who Enchanted Animals

Enjoying family time while pumpkin picking

“We are honored to be a part of enCourage Kids Foundation. They really go above and beyond for the children,” expressed Sherri.

“There are children that are from all walks of life that have faced insurmountable obstacles either on a daily basis or throughout their life. enCourage Kids puts smiles on these children’s faces and lets them forget the obstacles that they are facing, while allowing them to have fun and just be a kid.”

Like any animal in the enchanted forest who lacks a voice, Arizona has found other ways to communicate, including being able to sign up to 30 words.

But her favorite form of communication? Hugs. Lots and lots of hugs. If you find yourself in Arizona’s path, you can expect a big, squeezing hug, which will surely enchant your heart the same way that she has enchanted the animals.

Watch Arizona’s Board Story and learn more about our Breaking Barriers campaign

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