8-year-old uses her 'Make-a-Wish' to help others

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. (WPVI) -- The new Lilly Pulitzer print called "Magical Mary" looks happy and vibrant, just like the 8-year-old girl behind it.

Mary Andersen of Newtown Square celebrated the launch of the pattern at the Lilly Pulitzer store at King of Prussia Mall.

Mary used her wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help design a Lilly Pulitzer print and designate some of the proceeds to helping others.
"To help cancer research- so kids who get sick with cancer like me don't have to go through what I had to," explained Mary.

Dennis Heron, CEO of the Make-A-Wish of Foundation of Greater Philadelphia, Delaware and Susquehanna Valley was at the launch party to celebrate Mary and her idea.

"She could have done anything. She chose to help other kids in a situation she finds herself in," he said.

Mary was diagnosed with leukemia in 2017. She turned to art to find peace.

After undergoing intensive chemotherapy, she is now in remission, receiving maintenance therapy until January.

Mary told Action News, "When you go to the hospital you just kind of want to be at home."

Her mother, Liz Andersen, added, "When you're on the oncology unit, it's difficult. Especially when you're there 3-4 weeks at a time. It takes its toll."

"She just wanted to give back to the other kids who even as we speak are still in the oncology unit," said Liz.
Mary has always loved the bright Lilly prints. She spent her Wish Day at Lilly Pulitzer's King of Prussia Headquarters. She met with designers, and later starred in a photo shoot with her family. A dress, hat, and top, in Mary's print are available nationwide while supplies last.

To give back, Lilly Pulitzer is donating a portion of the proceeds from launch day to Make-A-Wish and $33,000 dollars to CHOP. Wish granted.

Eleni McCready of Lilly Pulitzer explains they didn't hesitate to when it came to taking part in Mary's wish.

"I mean this was just a simple 'yes'. You had to say yes to this idea, and we just took it and ran with it," said McCready.

There are so many special details about this print. This is the first Lilly print to have unicorns, which are Mary's favorite creatures. The daffodils are a symbol of the American Cancer Society. The daisies refer to CHOP's Daisy Days fundraiser. The words 'Mary's Wish by Lilly Pulitzer,' and 'Mary' are hidden in the art.

Mary's parents, Liz and Don Andersen, are overwhelmed by the support the family of six has received and the resilience their daughter has shown.

Next week, Mary will walk the runway in CHOP's fashion show fundraiser in the print she designed, with her oncologist by her side.
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