Everyday Hero: Woman becomes princess to help others

By Bill Murphy, Everyday Hero Host
Last Updated: Monday, April 17, 2017, 12:17 PM EDT

“She offered the prince a rose but he selfishly told her to go away.”

Everyday Hero host Bill Murphy met a princess on a visit to Bright Beginnings in Dunedin.

  • Woman with rare illness inspires, helps others by becoming a princess
  • Mariah Holden dresses as a princess for kids at hospitals
  • Holden born with rare Dhiari Malformations

Mariah Holden, 20, was born with a rare condition called Chiari malformation, defects in the part of the brain that controls balance.

Combined with a host of other medical challenges, she spends most of her time in a wheelchair.

But not on this visit.

“She wandered into the forbidden west wing.  There she found an enchanted road,” Holden said.

Holden’s dream has always been to be a princess entertaining children, but her illness kept her from finding that job.

“So I said, ‘You know what?  I’m not going to let all these no’s and all of my diseases, my illness, I’m not going to let it stop me and I want people to see that no matter what… you can still live your dream,” Holden said.

So now she donates her time at schools, hospitals, and charitable events where she sometimes trades in her gown for flippers.  Seeing the joy in the eyes of the children hardly matches the joy they give Holden in return.

“I get to give them what they want and they don’t even know how much of an effect they have on me ‘cause, like, it really does help me cope,” Holden said.

Coping with daily health hurdles that could understandably get her down.  

“You can’t be sad when you have little eyes looking up at you and believing that you’re really their dream princess,” Holden said.

A courageous young woman who refuses to let anything get in her way.

“I want more than I can tell and for once it would be grand to have someone understand I want so much more than they’ve got planned,” Holden sang.

For more information on Holden and how to help, click here and here.