In many Latinx families, there’s no celebration as special as a quinceañera.

There are moms who freak out about finding the most over-the-top arreglos de mesa, girls who fantasize about the dress for years, and some, like Genesis Tamez and her family, who never even dreamed they would get to celebrate this milestone.

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When Tamez was born at only 25 weeks, she weighed just one pound. The doctors told her parents she wouldn’t be alive for more than 20 days. Fifteen years later, the family of this Texas quinceañera celebrated her most special birthday with a big party and, most importantly, the dress of her dreams.

Almost magically, everything happened thanks to Make-a-Wish Foundation, a nonprofit that grants kids with critical illness their biggest wishes.

Courtesy of Make-A-Wish

The big surprise

“She’s always watching videos of girls doing their hair and makeup for their quinceañera and her biggest wish was to see herself all dressed up as a princess,” Marta Marquez, the girl’s mother, told mitú. “She didn’t know anything about the surprise until we took her to try the dress on.”

make a wish texas
Courtesy of Make-A-Wish

As she wished, the nonprofit arranged everything for the Texas quinceañera to have a big puffy custom-made dress, and a full hair and makeup session. The girl started crying the minute they brought her close to a mirror to see herself in the dress.

“Genesis is a girl who doesn’t know how to express her feelings, so it brought us so much joy and pride to see her so happy, showing her emotions like that.”

A quinceañera dream come true

The proud mom shared that the party felt to them like a dream. Flowers, food, mariachis… the works! The non-profit didn’t spare detail for this Texas quinceañera.

Watching Tamez surrounded by a full mariachi band singing to her and dancing with her friends and cousins was a priceless gift for the family.

Texas quinceañera
Courtesy of Make-A-Wish

“We have no words to thank the foundation for what they did for her and what they do for other kids. It’s a miracle.”

Breeze Acevedo, vice-president of mission delivery at the Texas Gulf Coast and Louisiana chapter of Make-a-Wish, was moved to the core when she saw her walking into her party. “What moved me the most was her spirit,” she said. “You could really tell what her wish coming true meant to her from her smile. It was unbelievable.”

Make a Wish Texas Quinceañera
Courtesy of Make-A-Wish

If you want to donate or volunteer you can find more information on the Make-A-Wish website: