Dawn Blackman, center front with back to camera, shares the surprise announcement Saturday of a trip to Disney World from Make-A-Wish Maine with her daughters Alyvia, left, and Chloe, right. The sisters are members of Western Mountain Cheering. Other cheerleaders hold signs revealing the news. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

RUMFORD — A 5-year-old Mexico girl diagnosed with cancer, and her family, will soon be going to Disney World, thanks to Make-A-Wish Maine.

The trip came in a surprise public announcement Saturday for Alyvia Blanchard, her sister, Chloe, and their mother, Dawn Blackman, near the end of the Mountain Valley Conference Cheering Championships.

Dawn Blackman of Mexico poses with her daughters Alyvia, left, and Chloe after they learned Saturday that Make-A-Wish Maine granted Alyvia’s wish to go to Disney World. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

Alyvia and Chloe are members of Western Mountain Cheering, a program for prekindergarten through sixth-graders at the Greater Rumford Community Center.
During a youth exhibition in Puiia Gymnasium at Mountain Valley High School, 40 members gathered on the mats, with three girls standing to display signs announcing the trip for Alyvia and her family.

Cheers, applause, hugs and tears followed the surprise.

“I was blown away by the surprise that was given to us!” Blackman said. “I knew her sponsors were coming to watch but didn’t know for sure we were going to Disney because it was just an idea for so long. Seeing her big smile and her big sister’s happy tears were priceless and I’m speechless by all the love and support by everyone around us.”

She said she’s thankful to the cheering coaches and her sponsors for “making this day as special as it could’ve been!”

Alyvia, who loves cheering and dancing, was recently diagnosed with a form of cancer that attacks her white blood cells and her ability to fight infections. She has undergone chemotherapy and is doing well, her mother said.

“I can’t wait for this experience and to be able to take a step back and make her feel like she can still have a good time despite being sick,” Blackman said.

Learning that the cheerleaders would be performing Saturday, Pam Redstone of Make-A-Wish Maine determined to announce the Make-A-Wish surprise to Alyvia and her family.

Redstone contacted coach Kassie Elliott three weeks ago.

Blackman said Alyvia listed her top three wishes to Make-A-Wish Maine as follows:

  • Meet Jojo Siwa, an American dancer, singer, actress, and YouTube personality.
  • Dress like a princess, because her favorite Disney princess is Belle.
  • Go to Walt Disney World resort near Orlando, Florida.

“They asked if she would like to go to Disney to be dressed as her favorite princess,” Blackman said. “She was beyond excited that her sponsors from Make-A-Wish could make this possible for her!”

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