Blog Entry

Pixar grants a 10 year old girl her dying wish

Posted on: June 21, 2009 11:40 pm

This is a very sad story. I read it and had to put it on here for people to read. I found it on some Orange County News site. Here's the article.

From the minute Colby saw the
previews to the Disney-Pixar movie Up, she was desperate to see it. Colby had been diagnosed with vascular cancer about three years ago, said her mother, Lisa Curtin, and at the beginning of this month it became apparent that she would die soon and was too ill to be moved to a theater to see the film.

After a family friend made frantic calls to Pixar to help grant Colby her dying wish, Pixar came to the rescue.

The company flew an employee with a DVD of Up, which is only in theaters, to the Curtins’ Huntington Beach home on June 10 for a private viewing of the movie.

The animated movie begins with scenes showing the evolution of a relationship between a husband and wife. After losing his wife in old age, the now grumpy man deals with his loss by attaching thousands of balloons to his house, flying into the sky, and going on an adventure with a little boy.

Colby died about seven hours after seeing the film.

With her daughter’s vigil planned for Friday, Lisa Curtin reflected about how grateful she is that Pixar – and "Up" – were a part of her only child’s last day.

“When I watched it, I had really no idea about the content of the theme of the movie,” said Curtin, 46. “I just know that word ‘Up’ and all of the balloons and I swear to you, for me it meant that (Colby) was going to go up. Up to heaven.”

Pixar officials declined to comment on the story or name the employees involved.


Colby was diagnosed with vascular cancer on Dec. 23, 2005 after doctors found a tumor in her liver. At the time of her death, her stomach was about 94 inches around, swollen with fluids the cancer wouldn’t let her body properly digest. The rest of her body probably weighed about 45 pounds, family friend Carole Lynch said.

Colby had gone to Newport Elementary School and was known for making others laugh, family friend Terrell Orum-Moore said. Colby loved to dance, sing, swim and seemed to have a more mature understanding of the world than other children her age, Orum-Moore said.

On April 28, Colby went to see the Dream Works 3-D movie "Monsters Vs. Aliens" but was impressed by the previews to "Up."

“It was from then on, she said, ‘I have to see that movie. It is so cool,’” Lynch said.

Colby was a movie fan, Lisa Curtin said, and she latched onto Pixar’s movies because she loved animals.

Two days later Colby’s health began to worsen. On June 4 her mother asked a hospice company to bring a wheelchair for Colby so she could visit a theater to see "Up." However, the weekend went by and the wheelchair was not delivered, Lisa Curtin said.

By June 9, Colby could no longer be transported to a theater and her family feared she would die without having seen the movie.

At that point, Orum-Moore, who desperately wanted Colby to get her last wish, began to cold-call Pixar and Disney to see if someone could help.

Pixar has an automated telephone answering system, Orum-Moore said, and unless she had a name of a specific person she wanted to speak to, she could not get through. Orum-Moore guessed a name and the computer system transferred her to someone who could help, she said.

Pixar officials listened to Colby’s story and agreed to send someone to Colby’s house the next day with a DVD of "Up," Orum-Moore recalled.

She immediately called Lisa Curtin, who told Colby.

“Do you think you can hang on?” Colby’s mother said.

“I’m ready (to die), but I’m going to wait for the movie,” the girl replied.


At about 12:30 p.m. the Pixar employee came to the Curtins’ home with the DVD.

He had a bag of stuffed animals of characters in the movie and a movie poster. He shared some quirky background details of the movie and the group settled in to watch Up.

Colby couldn't see the screen because the pain kept her eyes closed so her mother gave her a play-by-play of the film.

At the end of the film, the mother asked if her daughter enjoyed the movie and Colby nodded yes, Lisa Curtin said.

The employee left after the movie, taking the DVD with him, Lynch said.

“He couldn’t have been nicer,” said Lynch who watched the movie with the family. “His eyes were just welled up.”

After the movie, Colby’s dad, Michael Curtin, who is divorced from Lisa Curtin, came to visit.

Colby died with her mom and dad nearby at 9:20 p.m.

Among the Up memorabilia the employee gave Colby was an “adventure book” – a scrap book the main character’s wife used to chronicle her journeys.

“I’ll have to fill those adventures in for her,” Lisa Curtin said.

Category: General
Tags: General

Since: Feb 4, 2009
Posted on: July 6, 2009 9:21 pm

Pixar grants a 10 year old girl her dying wish

AT, this is one of the reasons you are in my favs. Great level set. Puts things in perspective. TY

Since: Mar 29, 2009
Posted on: July 4, 2009 5:41 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jun 27, 2009
Posted on: July 1, 2009 5:52 pm

Pixar grants a 10 year old girl her dying wish

Man this story about the strength and courage of a 10-year old girl had tears in my eyes. What a great story. Thanks for sharing.

Since: Jan 6, 2007
Posted on: June 27, 2009 1:21 pm

Pixar grants a 10 year old girl her dying wish

Somehow, I missed this post, AT20.  Thanks for sharing this with us, however sad a story it is.  It is amazing and inspiring how brave these young folks are who suffer so greatly and manage to handle it so well.  I think this gives great credit to the parents out there who manage to maintain a positive outlook for their children.  Thank heavens for companies such as Disney-Pixar for fulfilling Colby's wish, thereby giving her as perfect a last day on this earth as she may have had.

Since: Feb 15, 2008
Posted on: June 27, 2009 11:56 am

Pixar grants a 10 year old girl her dying wish

No problem I'm glad a lot of people took time to read it. This story will really put things in perspective and make you realize what is really important in life.

Since: Jun 9, 2009
Posted on: June 25, 2009 11:34 pm

Pixar grants a 10 year old girl her dying wish

Great post Alabama..Keep up the good content.

Since: Apr 5, 2009
Posted on: June 25, 2009 1:19 pm

Pixar grants a 10 year old girl her dying wish

“Do you think you can hang on?” Colby’s mother said.

“I’m ready (to die), but I’m going to wait for the movie,” the girl replied

This is such a powerful.  I find it amazing that a liittle girl could have this much strength. 

I want to thank you for posting this article Alabama, in todays world it's nice to find a little bright spot to draw from.  I doubt Pixar will ever here this, but I want to thank them to for atleast making this little girls last hours enjoyable.

Since: Feb 15, 2008
Posted on: June 24, 2009 6:08 pm

Pixar grants a 10 year old girl her dying wish

No problem. I'm glad a lot of people took the time to read this story. It is a very touching story.

Since: Aug 12, 2006
Posted on: June 24, 2009 5:56 pm

Pixar grants a 10 year old girl her dying wish

Thank you for posting this. It's sad to be sure but also it brought me joy to see that when given a chance someone will act to make a child's wish come true. The loss of a child is the most difficult thing I ever went through and I know what these parents will deal with. The fact that some happiness was given to Colby in her last hours can be a source of some comfort. I'm glad I had the chance to read this. Thanks again.

Since: Apr 6, 2008
Posted on: June 22, 2009 8:07 pm

Pixar grants a 10 year old girl her dying wish

Nice post bro.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or