Baldwin-Whitehall senior's final show brings in biggest donation yet for Make-A-Wish
Mikayla Davic fought back tears as she talked about the $22,000 raised for Make-A-Wish earlier this month through a musical she wrote and produced as a high school senior.
The amount equates to five wishes granted.
“It was amazing,” said Davic, 18, of Baldwin Borough. “It’s just incredible to me.”
Over the last five years, the five musicals Davic has written, produced and often starred in have raised $67,000 for Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
This year’s show, “Lost and Found,” which was Davic’s last at Baldwin High School as she will graduate this spring, brought in the most money of any one prior. And donations still are coming in. Teachers are stopping to give her money, and people are giving online.
This year’s show was special in many ways, said Davic, who casts her classmates in each of her shows.
For the first time, a Wish recipient was in the audience and all of the donations raised from the Jan. 4 show — $5,400 in all — went toward making the little girl’s wish come true.
Davic knew the girl, Madison Mae Welsh, 3, and her family, as they share the same summer vacation spot at Conneaut Lake.
Madison, the daughter of Lisa and Michael of West View, was diagnosed this summer with a rare neuroimmune disease, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which causes a brief but intense inflammation of the brain. It can take months or even years to recover from its debilitating effects, Lisa Welsh said.
Madison has had two relapses, the most recent of which occurred in October. Her symptoms presented differently then and she also was diagnosed with pediatric multiple sclerosis.
She now has a long road ahead while undergoing care at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Lisa Welsh said.
Madison’s wish to go to Walt Disney World will be granted in February.
“She can’t wait to swim at Give Kids the World, where we are staying,” Lisa Welsh said. “Of course, meeting all of the princesses is top on her list.”
Lisa Welsh said she was “blown away” when she found out the proceeds from Davic’s show were going to her daughter. As she looked across the crowded auditorium, she was brought to tears.
“It’s challenging to watch your child’s weeks fill up with doctor’s appointments, physical and occupational therapy sessions, frequent MRIs and blood draws,” Lisa Welsh said. “Looking forward to her Disney wish is providing us all with a sense of normalcy that we have been stripped from lately.”
For Davic, having Madison and her family at the show made the impact of her efforts much more real.
“She was jumping up and down and clapping,” Davic said. “I got to see her face light up.”
Stephanie Hacke is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.