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Paige's wish gets granted: Johnson family spending a week at Walt Disney World

Paige and her family were ready to embark on a weeklong trip to Walt Disney World, courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Dreams For Kids. Connie Vandermay/FOCUS1 / 2
Paige played games with friends at her sendoff party last Friday at the Perham Area Community Center. Connie Vandermay/FOCUS2 / 2

Nine-year-old Paige Johnson is 1,700 miles away from her home in Perham right now, celebrating the end of a year-long battle with cancer.

Paige and her parents, Rick and Chasity, along with older sister Mylinda, are living it up at Walt Disney World in Florida, courtesy of the Make-A-Wish foundation.

Last Friday, 40 family and friends gathered at the Perham Area Community Center to send the Johnsons off.

Volunteer wish granter, Karen Umland, presented the family with a bag full of gifts and all the information they'll need for their all-expense-paid, seven-day trip.

Throughout the week, the Johnsons will enjoy rides and water parks, meet Disney characters, ride in a limousine and visit neighboring theme parks like Lego Land.

It all sounded exciting to Paige as she looked forward to her trip on Friday, but she said, "I'm most excited to see the Village and meet someone."

The Johnsons are staying at Give Kids the World Village, a 70-acre resort with more than 140 attractions for kids with life threatening diseases.

Paige's battle with cancer began last January when she found a lump in her neck. It was later diagnosed as a desmoid tumor, an extremely rare form of cancer. Throughout the year, Paige took many trips to the Minneapolis Children's Hospital for chemotherapy treatments and surgery.

Though doctors weren't able to remove the entire tumor as they hoped, the tiny part that's left is so "minute the doctors thought it would just maintain its size, Chasity said.

This is good news for the Johnson family.

"The prognosis looks great," Chasity said.

When Paige returns from Disney World, she will have a three-month break from hospitals before having an MRI test to watch for changes in the tumor.

But the Johnson's are hopeful that their scary year has come to a true end.

"They (desmoid tumors) can stay dormant for many years," Chasity said.

Paige's wish was financially supported by Dreams for Kids, a local group that raises money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.