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Orange County Digest

Anaheim : Ailing Child Granted Wish to See Disneyland

September 17, 1986| Associated Press

A 5-year-old victim of cystic fibrosis, the nation's No. 1 genetic killer of children, got her wish Tuesday to visit Disneyland and see Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

Kindergartner Mia Mireles of Mission, Tex., visited the Magic Kingdom with her father, David, a junior high school teacher.

Mia's visit was sponsored by the Make-a-Wish Foundation, which grants the fondest wishes of terminally ill children.

Most children with cystic fibrosis, a disease that attacks the respiratory system, never reach their 18th birthday. Doctors say the disease is the nation's No. 1 genetic cause of death.

Mia is not in pain yet, but she probably will be in the next few years as she begins to grow, doctors have said.

"My IVs hurt and it hurts when I cough," Mia said last week before leaving Texas.

"She really doesn't know what she has. All she knows is that when she gets sick she has to go see the doctor," Mireles said.

For the past five years, the Mireleses have watched as the child's condition deteriorated.

Mireles holds two jobs to make ends meet. The family also includes another daughter, 7-year-old Irene.

"This trip came just in time," Mireles said, adding that his wife, Norma, who takes care of the children, needed a vacation. "Everyone has been so wonderful to us."

The Mireleses said their daughter's cheerfulness, despite her illness, has given them strength.

"When we see other children, I tell my wife we really don't have any problems. There are people whose children are worse than Mia," Mireles said. "We try to live as normally as possible and not talk about Mia's illness."

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