Caroline Keene Adams was three years old when she was diagnosed with leukemia two weeks before Thanksgiving in 2014. Her journey since then has been a long, tough battle filled with hospital visits and cancer treatments. But on Sunday, inside a party room at The Caribbean Resort & Villas on North Ocean Boulevard Caroline Keene celebrated victories: a 5th birthday party with friends, a granted wish to visit Walt Disney World that would soon come true and a mural of her as a mermaid now immortalized on a wall by the resort’s indoor lazy river.
Caroline Keene was a little tired Sunday from the chemotherapy treatments she will have to continue for another year, but she was excited. The three-foot-tall princess, adorned with a crown and purple wings, glided around the room twirling a butterfly wand, welcoming her guests.
“This Thanksgiving her teacher gave her the name ‘Brave Butterfly,’” said Caroline Keene’s grandmother at the party.
Make-A-Wish South Carolina granted Caroline Keene’s wish to go to Walt Disney World later this month where she and her family will celebrate her actual 5th birthday on Feb. 24 with all of her favorite Disney princesses. They plan to visit the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Universal Studios and more.
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Local artist and family friend, Melia Kendall, organized the party with the help of The Caribbean Resort staff. Kendall baked a princess castle cake, decked with butterflies and painted the mural for Adams, hiding it with wrapping paper and a bow until Adams could rip it off the wall in a big unveiling. Caroline Keene’s face lit up as she looked at the mural of two mermaids - one was her and the other was her 7-year-old sister, Virginia, being greeted by a clown fish that bubbled out the message: Happy Birthday Caroline Keene.
Reach Weaver at 843-444-1722 or follow her on Twitter @TSNEmily.