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Surprise of a lifetime for young Western New York cancer survivor

Posted at 12:08 AM, Nov 05, 2019

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — On Monday night, Miriam Shulman, 6, got the surprise of a lifetime at the Aquarium of Niagara.

The Aquarium of Niagara, Make a Wish Western New York and HVAC service company and wish granter--Service Experts--all coming together with Miriam's friends and family to reveal her wish.

"To swim with the dolphins," Miriam said. Her mom, Harmony Johnson added, "To become an aquatic trainer."

Her reveal also including a visit from Tux, the penguin and a tour of the aquarium. Miriam also got a backstage tour to feed the sea lion a special frozen treat.

"It was a very special moment for all of us. One that I think we'll hold onto for a very long time," Gary Siddall, Executive Director of Aquarium of Niagara, said.

For Miriam, it's been a long road in her two year and two month fight against leukemia starting at the age of three.

"It felt almost like a death sentence when they said your child had cancer," Johnson said. But the family has remained optimistic and Miriam has "just kept swimming." It was marine animals, like dolphins, fish and sea lions, that helped her through rounds of chemo.

"It's been a long chapter, a long few years, so it kind of feels like a really nice way to finish what was a very long chapter in our lives," Johnson said.

In just a few weeks, Miriam and her family will head down to Florida to live out her wish for five days, but before that, she will meet with her wish granters to go over her itinerary.