An Alaska girl gets her wish: To see a 'magical' Hawaii tree up close

Updated: Nov. 21, 2017 at 2:34 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Every child's wish should be filled, but we think you'll agree this one is special.

When the Make-a-Wish Foundation asked 6-year-old Markella Spiropoulos, of Palmer, Alaska, what she wanted most in the world, her answer was surprising: She wanted to see a rainbow eucalyptus tree in person.

Her mom, Carmen, said the wish was born out of Markella's active imagination.

When the two got on the internet to try to narrow down spots to visit, Markella saw the tree and knew — she needed to see one up close.

So the folks at Make-a-Wish in Alaska searched for a rainbow eucalyptus tree and they found one in a spot that's pretty nice to visit anyway: Foster Botanical Garden.

Markella, her parents and other members of the family visited Tuesday and the 6-year-old, wearing a princess dress, lei and a haku, laid her hand gingerly on the rainbow eucalyptus, not saying a word.

"To her, it was something magical," said her mom. "She was convinced that there would be fairies there or something."

The lack of fairy sightings didn't get Markella down.

After visiting her must-see tree, Markella got to go on a treasure hunt at the gardens and posed for a bunch of photos.

She even got a personally-addressed letter from the mayor himself.

"Welcome to our little slice of paradise!" wrote Mayor Kirk Caldwell, in the letter. "You chose an amazing location to see such a marvelous tree."

Markella suffers from a rare condition that can leave her feeling weak and sometimes affects her breathing.

But nothing could keep her from reveling in her wish fulfilled. At the gardens, she romped in the grass and gratefully accepted gifts.

"The tree was beautiful today," said her mom. "She definitely said it was much better than she expected."

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