4-year-old who had leukemia has wish granted: Charlotte Grimm danced with ballerinas downtown

Her parents say she danced her way through leukemia. On Friday night, a 4-year-old girl's wish to dance with real ballerinas was granted.

Charlotte Grimm, who is from Minnesota, got a chance to dance with real ballerinas at the Civic Theatre in downtown San Diego.

In February of 2010, Charlotte was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

"She had had a couple unexplained high fevers and we took her into the pediatrician thinking she was just ill," said Sally Grimm, Charlotte's mother. "They ran some blood work and knew immediately she was very, very sick."

Charlotte underwent chemotherapy and treatment for two and a half years. In April of 2012, she received a clean bill of health.

"She danced all throughout treatment," said Charlotte's father, Justin. "It was her escape."

Her mother added, "When she didn't feel good, she would put on her tutu and dance and I think that's how she forgot about how she was feeling a lot."

During the course of her treatment, the Make-A-Wish Foundation came to Charlotte's family. Her dream was to meet and dance with professional ballerinas.

"I was hoping she was going to be game for it ... to be on stage dancing with professional dancers," said prima ballerina Denise Dabrowski.

So, Charlotte and her family were flown from Minnesota to San Diego this week on an all-expenses paid trip.

From the moment Charlotte entered the Civic Theatre downtown, she was treated like a princess. A tiara was placed on her head and she was walked to the stage.

For what seemed like a half hour, Charlotte danced with the California Ballet Company during its invited dress rehearsal for this weekend's performances of "Swan Lake." She even got her makeup professionally done and had a lot of fun.

When asked if it was more than they expected, Charlotte's father said, "Way more, way more ...This trip has already been way more than we ever expected."

"Swan Lake" is described as the quintessential classical ballet. It will be performed Saturday night and Sunday afternoon for a paying audience at the Civic Theatre.


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