Sixteen-year-old Leena has read the Lord of the Rings trilogy three times and has watched the movies four times. Now she has experienced it. Make-A-Wish® Oregon recently granted Leena’s wish to go see the Lord of the Rings movie set in New Zealand - her first overseas trip.
As she walked through the village of Hobbiton where famous Hobbit characters like Bilbo Baggins, Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee lived, Leena said she felt like she was in heaven: “I was just thinking that all the actors that I love walked here - like Elijah Wood.” She said the place looked and felt real; that everything was set up to look like someone was living there - from the tended vegetable gardens to the clothes on the clothes line.
Leena’s favorite part of the tour was being able to peek inside Bilbo’s house and take a picture in front of his lush, green garden. “I felt really great. For a while I was almost in shock because I couldn’t believe it was happening.” She also got to eat a delicious lunch at the Green Dragon Inn, the pub used to film scenes in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
Leena’s mom said the wish came at a great time for Leena, who has been battling the ups and downs of cystic fibrosis. She said the greatest joy was watching her daughter have so much fun on the trip. She summed up the wish experience with one word: “happiness.”