COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - There are princesses, and then there are warrior princesses. Aurora Schmitt falls in the latter category.
"She likes to have fun and laugh and be a kid," said Aurora's dad, Thomas Schmitt.
This little 5-year-old warrior is a happiness machine.
"She's always happy and smiling and wanting others to be happy," Schmitt said. "She loves to make people laugh when she's feeling well."
And nothing makes Aurora happier than Disney princesses. Thankfully, Tracey Rankin with Happy Wheels knows that fact. But, to understand the magic of this fairytale, we have to take you inside the story of when WIS followed Happy Wheels along for a special delivery.
"We are here at Aurora's house and we are here to bring her three Disney on Ice tickets," said Tracey Rankin. "We are going to surprise her."
We followed Tracey up the stairs to the apartment where Aurora lives with her Dad, Thomas. A quick knock on the door got us inside the apartment.
"Hi, Aurora!" Tracey said. "It's Miss Tracey from Happy Wheels. How are you today, sweetheart?"
Aurora sat on a corner of a big red couch, wrapped in what can only be described as a superhero-worthy cape.
"We brought you some stuff off of the Happy Wheels cart today!" Tracey said as she sat close next to Aurora.
Tracey pulled several new toys out of the bag. But, each new toy was experienced first by touch. That's because Aurora is blind.
"I'm so happy to see you today," Tracey said.
The last of the gifts came in the form of tiny slips of paper. As Tracey handed them to Aurora, she said: "Would you like to go watch Disney on Ice this week?"
"Uh huh!" Aurora said.
"Alright here are three tickets, just for you," Tracey said.
"Thank you," said Aurora.
Disney on Ice's "Dream Big" will be at Colonial Life Arena March 29 through April 1. On the event information on CLA's website, it says the show will center around eight Disney Princesses: Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel,
Tiana, Jasmine, Aurora and Snow White – as they embark on incredible adventures, determined to make their dreams come true. But, Aurora is a princess who has already embarked on a lifetime's worth of journeys in her short 5 years.
She was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma on August 1st, 2016. It's rare cancer housed in her muscle tissue. She was in remission, but her cancer came back, aggressively, within the past couple of months. She just got back from her Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World in Florida.
"Her wish was to go to Disney to meet Minnie Mouse and to ride a roller coaster and she got to do all of that," Thomas said. "But the favorite part was her getting to meet all the characters."
Even though she broke her leg while on that trip and now sports a bright pink cast, she still enjoyed every moment.
"It was a dream come true for her," Thomas said. "It was perfect and it was really good timing because it was the last really full good week she had where she was eating well, feeling well and happy 24/7."
Now, doctor's orders include pain management and ice cream for breakfast. Thomas is hoping Aurora will feel well enough to make it to the show on Thursday night. If you ask Aurora, she'll be there. And she was extra excited to talk about what it's like to see the Happy Wheels cart roll through in the hospital.
"I just like the toys that they have there," Aurora said. "You make the hospital very fun."
It was a small miracle that Aurora was awake and alert to speak with us. She's on a significant amount of pain medication and sleeps a lot of the day, Thomas told WIS. He also told us the most incredible thing happened the other day.
He asked her what he could do for her. He told her she could ask for anything in the world, and he would make it happen. She told him something that so far exceeds her years in wisdom.
It just goes to show why happiness is seemingly coded in her DNA.
"Just be happy all the time," Aurora told WIS. "Just be happy a lot of the time. Please."