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Leadership Alberta family raising money to make wishes come true for sick children

The Cinderella Castle at Disney World in Florida.

JOE BURBANK/AP

The donors: Kim Nielsen, Tiana Nielsen and family

The gift: Helping raise $40,000

The cause: Make-A-Wish Southern Alberta

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The reason: Organizing wish trips with families of sick children

About four years ago, Kim Nielsen's daughter, Tiana, enjoyed a dream vacation at Disney World thanks to the Make-A-Wish Canada branch in southern Alberta. Now, Tiana and her family have not only become volunteers for the organization, they are also helping to raise $40,000 at a fundraising gala on Feb. 10.

Tiana, who is now 18, has a critical form of epilepsy that causes her to experience at least one seizure a day and requires regular medical attention. She and her mother, Kim, became volunteers for the charity shortly after the family returned home to Calgary from their wish trip in Florida. They helped out at events and Kim did volunteer work in the office. Last summer, Ms. Nielsen was asked to join the charity's board and become co-chair of the Princess & Superheroes Family Gala. Roughly 200 people are expected to attend the event in Calgary on Saturday and the charity hopes to raise $40,000.

Working with families on wish trips can be emotional, Ms. Nielsen said. "We're still all parents with children that we need to do the best we can for." Her own family has benefited as well. "It's really been a blessing to our family because my kids have been able to really grow within it."

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