MIAMI (WSVN) - To many residents and tourists, it’s one of our world-class attractions, but for a teen on the road to recovery, it would be zoo-topia.
Seventeen-year-old Allison Farley got up close and personal with the animals at Zoo Miami. She and her family traveled to South Florida from Texas, after a battle with a brain tumor.
Allison was diagnosed with the tumor at 13 years old. She underwent surgery to remove it when she was 14.
“I still suffer from pretty bad migraines fairly often, but other than that, I did have seizures before I had surgery. Now those are taken care of and starting to get back to normal,” said Farley.
Her family said it hasn’t always been easy, but things are looking up for them.
“It was rough,” said Jaclyn and Larry Farley, Allison’s parents. “Yeah, I mean obviously, in the beginning, it was a lot of emotions, a lot of doctors appointments, and you know, we still continue to do follow ups and MRIs and whatnot, but yeah, things are getting a lot better.”
Now, Allison’s wish to visit Zoo Miami has been granted thanks to Make-A-Wish South Florida.
“I was super happy that we finally got to do it, since it had been in the works for a while,” said Farley.
“Happy for her,” said Larry.
“Yeah, we were really happy,” said Jaclyn. “With COVID, it was postponed for a couple of years, so it was a nice relief to be able to give it to her.”
Allison got a VIP tour of the zoo, meeting giraffes, elephants, sloths and Galapagos tortoises.
“I’ve always loved animals ever since I was, I want to say first grade. I said I wanted to work with animals, and I wanted to go to college to be a zoologist and everything, so,” said Fraley. “I have a little zoo at home as well.”
Zoo Miami’s Ron Magill said moments like these are priceless.
“When you have a young adult like Allison, who has faced so many life challenging things, to see her light up, to see her forget about all of those things even for just a few minutes here, that’s the greatest joy we can have,” said Magill.
Even though Allison loves animals, she said she wants to go into nursing to help kids going through similar medical challenges.
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