EDINBORO, Pa. — A 7-year-old Warren girl will be heading to Hawaii thanks to Make-A-Wish of Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
The surprise for Abigail Cornman, who suffers from epilepsy, came Saturday afternoon during an Edinboro University vs. Indiana University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball game.
When half-time arrived, athletes escorted Abigail to the court and donned her with gifts, including luggage and Splash Lagoon passes.
Abigail’s mother, Bethiny Couse said it was “a dream come true.”
Abigail was unsuspecting of the surprise.
“She thought that she was not going to Hawaii–that coming to a basketball game was her wish that she got,” said Couse.
Assisting and caring for Abigail has been a family effort. Trips to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, where she receives care, has been demanding.
“It’s a hard journey on the whole family when someone has a disability and we have to go three hours each way to get to the doctor that is helping her,” said Couse.
The family of four said they were looking forward to Hawaii’s warmer and the opportunity to relax.
The event, a partnership between Make-A-Wish and the NCAA Division II, allowed eight other Make-A-Wish families to take in the game. All other guests were asked to donate in lieu of regular ticket fare.
“Well, it was actually free to enter with a donation to Make-A-Wish, which was absolutely wonderful,” said Jan Stork, senior regional manager of Make-A-Wish. “All the proceeds from the food–they’re taking donations during the game–and as you can see behind me, they have sold stars. And all of that money benefits Make-A-Wish.”
In 2016, the Edinboro Fighting Scots raised more than $15,000 for the foundation.
Abigail and her family will travel to Hawaii in early March.