It was 11 years ago, and Maya Gallardo was only two years old, and she had cancer. There was one way to help her, according to the doctors at the City of Hope, and that was for her to receive some T-cells from a donor.
Well she got some, from her older brother Aaron, 17. Now healthy at 13, Maya and her entire family were invited to come to Disneyland and throw the switch to light up the holiday lights at “it’s a small world” as the official launch of the holiday season as Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom.
Her entire family besides brother Aaron, were on hand at the event done in conjunction with the attraction’s official sponsor, Siemens. The rest of her family included her father Marc, mother Maya, and younger sister Emma, 6.
Disneyland Ambassador Sachi White hosted the brief ceremony in front of the attraction. Joining her on stage for a few brief moments to talk about the holiday season was Disneyland Executive Vice-President, Mary Niven. Then the family was brought on stage in style in the Disneyland Fire Engine, along with Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Pluto.
Video: It’s a Small World Holiday Lighting Ceremony 2014 at Disneyland
Later the family gave their reaction to being at Disneyland on this special day, as seen in this video.
Video: It’s a Small World Holiday lighting ceremony interview with Gallardo Family