'I really wanted to swim with dolphins'

SEATTLE -- Give a little girl some Barbies and a giant dollhouse, and you might expect she could play forever. But Stella Craver has her limits.

Even this type of play can be exhausting.

We first met Stella eight years ago, when doctors couldn't diagnose why she threw up several times a day and made regular trips to the emergency room.

"It was not pleasant, I can tell you that for sure," Stella said. "I had lots of IV's and .. a lot."

Two years ago, Stella was finally diagnosed with mitochondrial disease. It is a life-threatening cell disorder that zaps the energy used to run her organs.

"It's like running a car on AA batteries," Stella's mom Michelle explained. "You tend to run the important organs first and other things get left behind."

Stella's stomach and intestines are the first ones left behind, so she eats with a feeding tube and takes 13 daily medications. She often needs a wheelchair to get around.

When the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Washington and Alaska offered her a chance to get away, she knew she wanted to go to Hawaii!

"I really wanted to swim with dolphins, swim in the ocean and all that," Stella said.

She got that wish.

"Surprisingly they're more rubbery than you think," she said of dolphins.

The family also went to a luau and played on the beach.

And they didn't see a doctor or a hospital for an entire week.

"Just to step away, almost into a fantasy land and forget all of that for a week was the most unbelievable, incredible stress relief that we all needed," Michelle said.

Right now, there are 265 local children waiting for their wishes to be fulfilled. You can help by donating airline miles to our Wishes in Flight drive.

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