Make-A-Wish granted to Utah sisters diagnosed with rare cancer

Aug 8, 2023, 1:12 PM

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah — A Grantsville family is finding firsthand the power of hope in the midst of fighting rare medical battles.

The Chapman family has walked through what was the scariest time of their lives twice. They know a thing or two about perseverance. They also know a lot about hope.

Brinlee Chapman is 8 years old. Her mom, Aubree Chapman, said she has two big sisters, a big brother and a little brother.

She also happens to be a big fan of country music.

“She sings everything,” said Jeffrey Chapman, Brinlee’s dad.

Country Fan Fest is one reason why she was in Tooele. The other came as a surprise to her.

“There won’t be one person present that won’t be touched by the hope and the power and the strength,” said Summer Ehrmann, director of corporate giving at Make-A-Wish Utah.

Diagnosed with a form of leukodystrophy, Brinlee’s parents describe her medical battle as a rare nerve degenerating disease in the brain.

Her big sister is walking the same road.

“This is our second go around… It was our oldest daughter because they knew nothing about it. Like, they knew the type of leukodystrophy, but she is the sixth person in the world diagnosed with it, and her sister is the fifth. You read about it, … it’s horrifying because each one’s different,” her parents said.

Hope, though, is a powerful prescription, and Brinlee knows how to make a wish upon a star.

“Disney World!” Brinlee said.

Make-A-Wish Utah and Chartway know how to help grant them.

The surprise announcement, something Brinlee and her family will not forget:

“This proclamation of hope and strength and transformation… we hereby announce that Brinlee’s wish of going to Disney World will be granted!”

“Seeing that awareness come into people’s eyes when that wave of hope actually hits them and comes into their heart, and just the pure, unfiltered joy and generosity that our children express when receiving their wish,” Ehrmann said.

It’s that kind of smile that is proof you do not always have to see it to believe it.

“It definitely showed us, not even just the family, but just how many people were really, truly there for us throughout everything,” said Aubree Chapman.

Make-A-Wish Utah said there are currently over 250 kids waiting for their wishes.

“That invisible power of hope,” Ehrmann said.

To learn more about how to get involved with more stories like Brinlee’s, what Make-A-Wish Utah sums up as time, talent and or treasure, you are encouraged to visit the group’s website.

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Make-A-Wish granted to Utah sisters diagnosed with rare cancer