Jasmina Anema was supposed to visit the president last week, but she fell ill and was unable to make the trip. Fortunately, the bright-eyed child was released from the hospital yesterday and headed to the White House for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Staffers welcomed a beaming Jasmina, wearing a pink sweater dress reserved for special occasions, as she arrived at the White House at around 2:30 p.m. and ushered her into the building, where she waited to be taken into the Oval Office. Once inside, her eyes lit up with delight, her mother, Thea Anema, told the Daily News.
And it only got better. Obama gave Jasmina some gifts to take home – the presidential seal, a matching presidential yo-yo and a box of M&Ms, reports the News. But, most importantly, he gave her his time, attention and affection, according to the paper.
"It was like they were really best buddies," Anema told the News. "It was just how he spoke to her, like a daddy. It was so sweet … She feels very special."
Jasmina was still too engrossed in the dreamlike experience to talk much about it to reporters last night, but her mother told the paper she and the president spoke about books and the violin she wants for Christmas. Obama promised Jasmina she could write him whenever she wants, and when it was finally time to say goodbye, he pulled her in close and asked her to give him a hug, reports the News.
After her meeting with the president, Jasmina got a tour of the East Wing, pausing to make a special wish before the White House holiday wish tree, according to the News.
The trip was sponsored by the Make-A-Wish foundation.
Jasmina was diagnosed in January with a rare and deadly form of leukemia. The young girl befriended pop stars Rihanna and Kelly Rowland, who used their fame and celebrity status to draw attention to her cause and help her get a marrow transplant in June.