Quincy Girl Fighting Atypical Teratoid/Rhaboid Tumor Will Visit Disney World

October 2, 2014

Three-year-old Alisha Savage has spent nearly two-thirds of her young life in and out of hospitals being treated for a rare brain tumor.

But on Friday, the little girl from Quincy is getting a much-needed break to immerse herself in a land of princesses, The Patriot Ledger reported Thursday.

Alisha, along with her mother, father and baby sister, will head to Disney World in Florida on a trip made possible by the nonprofit Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

“It’s amazing,” said John Savage, Alisha’s father. “We’re going to make it special, make it a family trip.”

A limousine is picking up Alisha and her family in Quincy and a Quincy police motorcade will escort them.

They are being met at the American Airlines terminal at Logan Airport by a group of cheering Make-A-Wish volunteers and American Airlines employees dressed as Alisha’s favorite Disney princesses.

The Savage family is from Cork, Ireland, and moved to the Boston area last January to pursue treatment for Alisha’s disease, atypical teratoid/rhaboid tumor, or AT/RT.

This type of tumor affects the central nervous system, including the brain and spine. It is also rare, striking about one in every 1.1 million children around the world.

Alisha was first diagnosed with the disease almost two years ago and went into remission after aggressive chemotherapy. But she relapsed in June 2013, her father said.

“There were two tumors in the spine. We reached out, we tried everywhere and we scoured the world to see if there was anyone specializing in this,” said John Savage. “Dana-Farber just kept coming up, and we knew that’s where we have to be.”

John Savage said they tried last year in Ireland to take advantage of similar program to Make-A-Wish.

“But she was so sick, we had to cancel it three times,” he said. “It’s been a bit of a journey.”

Alisha’s grandparents have been visiting from Ireland and will join them for the trip to Orlando.

Savage said it’s been hard being so far from family back home, but he’s grateful for support his family has found here in the U.S.

“People in Boston have been helping and really got behind us in everything we’ve done,” he said.

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