Make-a-Wish grants Disney trip for the holidays

Published 12:13 am Sunday, December 26, 2010

One local family got a wish granted right before Christmas, a trip to Walt Disney World.

Ladita Nixon and her family got to take the trip the day after Thanksgiving as part of her Make-a-Wish request.

Nixon is a 16 year-old girl who was diagnosed with bone cancer in August of this year. She said she became aware of her medical condition after she began to have knee problems and her mother, Teresa Nixon, took her to the doctor. At first, the physicians told the family it was most likely just growing pains.

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When the pain continued Ladita was taken to other doctors. Teresa Nixon said she took her daughter to an urgent care physician this past summer and that doctor suggested the family get some x-rays taken to help diagnose the problem, those x-rays would prompt the doctor to suggest Ladita Nixon be taken to Southern Bone and Joint in Hattiesburg, which, after some more x-rays, said her condition could be due to bone cancer, and suggested she have a biopsy done at Ochsner.

Ladita Nixon started chemotherapy treatment in August after the biopsy confirmed she did have bone cancer.

“I’ve been doing chemo ever since,” Ladita Nixon said.

In October she got the opportunity to submit her request to Make-a-Wish, which was a trip for her and her family to visit Disney World. Teresa Nixon said the trip was approved and set for a later date, but when her daughter’s prognosis took a negative turn, the trip was moved up to right after Thanksgiving and the Saturday after Thanksgiving Ladita, her two sisters Ladedria and Sakayiah Mickel, her mother and her father, Antonio Mickel, all headed out for a week-long, all-expenses-paid trip.

In the week long trip the family stayed in a special apartment building, spent three days at Disney, two days at Universal Studios and was supposed to spend a day at Sea World but an accident Ladita Nixon had while getting off a horse during the trip canceled that stop, she said.

Ladita Nixon said she enjoyed visiting all of the attractions during her trip, including Epcot Center, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. The rides were also fun, she said, including Splash Mountain.

No matter her condition, Ladita said she will maintain a positive outlook on life.

“Some people look at it like your life is over, but it’s not,” Ladita Nixon said.

Some things have changed in her life since her diagnosis: She can’t play basketball anymore, and her schooling is handled at home. However her friends still come by to visit.

After she graduates from high school, Ladita Nixon said she plans to attend Pearl River Community College before heading to the University of Southern Mississippi to become a Registered Nurse.