AVONDALE, Ariz. - An Avondale girl's dream is coming true after being gifted with a trip to Disneyland for her and her family before she eventually loses her eyesight.
"Ana has just been family since day one," said Officer Joseph Turitto with Avondale Police.
The story with Ana began a few years ago, when she was rescued by knights dressed in uniforms, and riding in patrol cars.
"There was a vehicle that was underneath some trees, so we went out and made sure," said Beau Wagner, a K-9 handler with Avondale Police. "It was probably July. It was real hot. As we approached the vehicle, there was a female outside, and when we looked inside the vehicle, there were four kids."
Ana was among the four kids.
"They were soiled, they were sweating profusely," said Wagner.
Authorities say Ana's biological mother was drug-dependent, and unable to care for her children. The event sparked a child neglect investigation.
Ana was later adopted by Marcela Ochoa. Ochoa says her daughter loves her officer friends.
"Avondale [Police] has essentially been there from the very beginning," said Ochoa. "They’ve been amazing with her."
Doctors later told officers Ana had various disabilities, including being hard of hearing. In 2020, doctors also diagnosed Ana with Usher's Syndrome.
According to the National Eye Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, Usher Syndrome is rare genetic illness that affects both hearing and vision.
"It causes deafness or hearing loss and an eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa (RP)," read a portion of the website.
"Eventually, it will take almost all of her vision," said Ochoa. "It is a race against time. We don’t know when it will happen, we just know it will happen no matter what."
Ana's friends are now taking on the role of fairy godmothers, granting Ana a wish, as well as the trip of a lifetime.
"One of the suggestions that was brought up was ‘hey, let’s do a fundraiser for her so she can go to Disneyland with her family, and experience that before losing her vision,’" said Marcus Patterson.
An online fundraiser was set up in order to grant Ana that wish, and Avondale Police successfully reach their goal of $22,000 to pay for her trip.
Ana went on to take a four-day trip to Disneyland, staying at resorts, riding rides, and meeting characters, soaking in memories that will last a lifetime.
"Ana loved every minute of it," said Ochoa. "It took a village, people in the community who didn’t even know Ana to contribute, and we are so thankful for that."
Fundraiser for Ana