ANCHORAGE - The excitement of the Iditarod Ceremonial Start reverberated throughout downtown Anchorage. It's an event that captured the imagination of 14-year-old Hannah O'Toole, from Connecticut, when she was just a little girl. "It's been an interest of mine forever," she said.
But her dogsledding dreams were put on hold after being diagnosed with a serious genetic immune disorder. Her mom, Joni O'Toole, said the life-threatening disease has kept her daughter from enjoying the outdoors. "She is unable to protect herself from diseases, illnesses, infections, and things like that." said Joni.
But the Make-A-Wish Foundation stepped in, and gave Hannah one wish to do anything she wanted. "I told them I wanted to go see dog sled racing." Hannah said. So Iditarod veteran Ramey Smyth offered a front row seat. "I think Hannah is awesome!" said Smyth. "It's incredibly courageous to come all the way up here to Alaska and ride in a sled, I'm honored to take her." Cheers echoed throughout downtown as Smyth took off with Hannah riding in the sled. For Hannah, it was a dream come true.