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Shopping Spree Is A Wish Come True For Durham Teen

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RALEIGH — Visit the mall on a weekend afternoon, and you will find dozens of teenage girls shopping for clothes and sizing up the latest fashions.

A Durham teen with a serious illness knows her way around hospitals better than boutiques, but the

Make A Wish Foundation

changed that for a day.

Most 14-year-old girls love to spend time at the mall, but a recent outing was extra special for Alexia Dandy.

Alexia has Hodgkin's disease and has spent a lot of time in and out of hospitals. Her request for a shopping spree at Crabtree Valley Mall was granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

"At first I wanted to go to the Bahamas, but then I thought it would be easier to go shopping," she says.

Chemotherapy left Alexia too tired for an island getaway. So on Sunday, she hit the mall with her $1,500 in her pocket and her mom and sister in tow.

Merchants rolled out the red carpet for Alexia and her family, offering them food, gifts, and discounts. Yolanda Bagley says her daughter has been looking forward to this trip.

"Basically she didn't know what to expect. She's never been to Crabtree Valley Mall. She was basically just looking forward to shopping," says Bagley.

She says the Make-A-Wish experience was exciting and overwhelming.

Cindy Williams, a former Make-A-Wish mom, knows knows how important such an experience it is to families of sick children.

"My son had his wish granted. It's a great getaway from the hospital, the poking and prodding, and just lets them be a kid again," she says.

Alexia and her family received some gifts they will enjoy even after their shopping spree ends. A merchant gave them tickets to a UNC basketball game.


Stephanie Hawco, Reporter
Ron Pittman, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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