Disney, Make-A-Wish help make 18-year-old cancer survivor's dream to be on Broadway come true

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Tuesday, May 7, 2024
Disney, Make-A-Wish help make 18-year-old cancer survivor's dream to be on Broadway come true
18-year-old Gabby Bubrick shares her story and experience about being on Broadway.

NEW YORK -- An 18-year-old battling cancer got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be on Broadway with the help of Disney and Make-A-Wish.

Gabby Bubrick was just 15 years old when doctors diagnosed her with Hodgkin lymphoma. After undergoing treatment, she later found out she also had thyroid cancer.

Bubrick decided to wish upon a star about her dream: that she could one day be on a Broadway show.

"I decided to perform in a Broadway show because theater is what makes me the happiest. It's Broadway -- that's the dream," she said.

Actor Michael James Scott, who plays the Genie in "Aladdin" the musical, helped break the news to Bubrick that her wish of being on Broadway was happening.

"Your wish has been granted! You will be joining me for a cameo in 'Aladdin,'" said James in a video message to her.

Upon arriving at the New Amsterdam Theatre, Bubrick was given the full Broadway experience.

From meeting the people behind the show, to learning the choreography and getting a sneak peak of her performance wardrobe, the 18-year-old was treated just like any cast member.

She even got to take her first steps on the theater stage ahead of the big day.

After the rehearsal, Bubrick was treated to yet another surprise: seeing her name in bright lights on the New Amsterdam's marquee.

For Bubrick, the opportunity had a personal resonance. The first show she saw on Broadway was "Mary Poppins" at the New Amsterdam.

"That was so cool and full circle, to get to be in a show in the theater that was where I had my first experience with musical theater, where I fell in love with it," Bubrick said.

When it was finally showtime, Bubrick put on her biggest smile and made her Broadway debut.

"We got to be on the stage and got to look out into the audience for the first time, and that was so cool," Bubrick said.

Toward the end of the show, Bubrick joined everyone on stage for the curtain call, where the cast gave her a heartwarming serenade.

The experience didn't end there. After the show, a group of fans eagerly waited to give her flowers while asking for her autograph on their Playbills.

There to support Bubrick through it all was her mother, Michelle Vago, who said it was surreal to see her daughter live out her dream.

"It's unbelievable to see her on a Broadway stage, it's very moving. It's just been amazing to see this come true," Vago said.

It was truly a magical day for the 18-year-old.

"My wish is definitely granted," Bubrick said.