Prologue

Long ago, in a place called Raleigh, Virginia, there lived a girl by the name of Alley. At the age of 10, she was battling leukemia—and losing. Alley grew frail and weak and could barely support herself for much longer. Her parents worried for her and so did Alley herself. What would happen to the small group of friends she had at school? Would they cry? Would they forget her? Alley thought about so many things all throughout the day, it often brought her anxiety. She lost her hair and with that, her confidence, and never had she been so afraid for her life.

Until a present worked as her miracle.

Cooped up in her hospital bed that took the shape of her small body, a box with bright pink wrapping paper sat at the foot of her bed, waiting for her when she awoke from her daily nap. When given permission to open it, she discovered it was a Nintendo Wii. Oh, how she always wanted one! She turned the box over and found a game taped to it. Animal Crossing: City Folk. A few minutes later her father came in with a special TV on wheels, and told her it was specially for her. Smiling, Alley thanked her parents and within an hour, the Wii was set up. She made her own Mii (even without the hair) and popped in Animal Crossing.

This is a simple story, really. It's a story of how this special game, Animal Crossing, changed the life of Alley Paine.

I guarantee you there will be sad parts and happy parts, bad parts and good parts, tear-worthy parts and smile-worthy parts in this small story of Alley Paine. But if you look hard enough, you will find that overall, this beautiful story is mostly a happy one.

So pull up a chair and come and sit with me, and I'll tell you a story of a girl, a disease, and the life-changing game of Animal Crossing: City Folk.

You won't be disappointed.