Make-A-Wish surprise: Cancer survivors meet cast of ‘Disney On Ice’

Posted at 11:08 PM, Feb 12, 2016

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Some Disney favorites are coming to life this weekend in Grand Rapids, literally for a handful of lucky kids.

On Friday, FOX 17 was there for one of the "Disney On Ice" performances at Van Andel Arena, and captured the special treat for several audience members.

"I’m so happy, I can’t describe how happy I am," said 9-year-old cancer survivor Ella Neifert, whose dream was to see the show come to life on the icy stage. She went with her older sister Libby,11, who is also a cancer survivor.

Not only did they and five others get to see the show, they were all surprised when they got to meet some of their favorite Disney characters in person.

"It makes me feel like [the] Disney meet-and-greet was transferred here," said a surprised Ella.

It was all thanks to Michigan's Make-A-Wish Foundation, a charity group that grants wishes for children with life-threatening conditions.

"They need a distraction. They need something else to be thinking about... and excited about and this is what these events on "Disney On Ice" has provided tonight," said Ashley Hays, Communications and Outreach Manager for Make-A-Wish of Michigan.

"To see the smile on my kids face is priceless," said Ella's father, Tony Neifert. "All of the other things they’ve been through and all that we’ve been through as a family this is one of those things that make it better."

"It makes us emotional, you know, you have to be strong through all of the treatment," said Liah Nerifert, Ella's mother. "The littlest happy things bring tears to our eyes because we’re so happy and so grateful they’re here and Make A Wish continues to provide these amazing experiences for them."

On Saturday, 100 children and their families are invited to watch the 11 a.m. performance downtown thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. If you would like to learn more about the foundation and donate, click here.

General admission tickets for the show are $15 and available at the box office through Sunday.