Wishes in Flight: Lexi and family reflect on dream trip to NYC on New Year's Eve

This week, Make-A-Wish South Dakota needs your help. You can donate your unused airline miles to help grant wishes for kids facing life-threatening medical conditions.

Lexi Menztel and her family, of Mitchell, got to watch the ball drop in Time's Square on New Year's Eve from 22 floors up.

Lexi was diagnosed with stage three Hodgkin's Lymphoma two years ago. She was a sophomore in high school.

"It started with a cough and looked like pneumonia. But after medicine didn't do anything, it clearly wasn't pneumonia. They said it would be lymphoma and more testing concluded it was Hodgkin's," Lexi Mentzel said.

Cancer was in her lymph nodes. A 15-centimeter tumor was in her chest. She underwent Chemotherapy.

"Seeing her lose her hair was the hardest. It hurt her and it's hard to see your daughter just lay there and not have any energy. A normal teenager will be out, almost never home, to see her sick and not be able to do anything to make her feel better," Lexi's mom Misty Zilla said.

They came across Make-A-Wish South Dakota and, not long after, Lexi got a wish of her very own.

"I've always liked the city-life so I wanted to go to New York City," she said.

She and her family got to see the Statue of Liberty, 'Wicked' on Broadway and best of all, the famous ball drop on New Year's Eve.

"I'm happy to be able to say I did it when not a lot of people have seen it drop that high up or in genera. It's on a lot of people's bucket lists. It was cool to have that with all my family there," Lexi said.

"My favorite part about being there? Seeing Lexi have a good time," her mom said.

With a photo album, a gift from Make-A-Wish, they look back on memories they'll have forever. All the while, encouraging anyone who can donate miles to make another wish come true.

"Even just the smallest number of miles helps. It all goes the long way. If they don't do miles, anything else, donations, things like that -- it all contributes to making a child's wish come true," Lexi said.

After months of chemo, Lexi was in remission by the time she was 16-years-old. Her family is forever grateful to Make-A-Wish. Thursday is the day to donate your unused frequent flier miles to help send people like Lexi, and their families, on a trip they'll never forget.

The number to call is 1-800-640-9198.



 
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