Girl with life-threatening illnesses becomes dolphin trainer for a day

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SAN DIEGO -- A girl who wasn’t expected to live past her third birthday had her wish granted Wednesday to be a dolphin trainer for a day.

Eight-year-old Mikaylah Alcivar is battling a series of potentially life-threatening illnesses including mild cerebral palsy, a chromosome 15 deletion, and t-cell abnormality, which weakens her immune system.

“She also was recently diagnosed with epilepsy,” said her mother, Crystal. “When she was born and I was holding her in my hands, as you expect to do with a newborn, her head would crunch in my hands and that was the first time I knew something was wrong."

When Kids Wish Network heard about Mikaylah’s dream to be a dolphin trainer for a day, it reached out to SeaWorld San Diego.

On Wednesday, a SeaWorld trainer met her family at the Double Tree by Hilton San Diego Del Mar. She surprised Mikaylah with a stuffed-animal dolphin and news that she would get to hang out at SeaWorld and learn about training dolphins.

A limo escorted the family to the park, where Mikaylah was then able to pet, feed and use hand signals with the dolphins.

When asked if she had a good time and what she would tell her friends about her experience at SeaWorld, Mikaylah said, “I’m going to tell them I’m almost a dolphin trainer."

"We just roll with the punches. What are you going to do? A lot of people ask us how we do it. She's my daughter. What else am I going to do?" said Crystal.

The Alcivar family is from Colorado and spent the rest of the week in San Diego sightseeing.