By Colleen Lockhart
Erin was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth and was diagnosed with Moyamoya disease in 2016, experiencing 7 strokes, she is now non-verbal. While she was in Boston awaiting surgery, a case worker at the hospital talked with her mom, Maria Dellapina, about submitting Erin’s name to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Erin’s favorite movie is “Frozen”. She loves Disney and her wish to visit Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando was made possible by a grant from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Erin, her mom, brother Anthony and sister Mollie, spent a cost-free three days at Disney World, two days at Universal Orlando, and one day at Sea World. They stayed at the Give Kids the World Village, a non-profit resort and partner of Make-A-Wish.
Erin’s one medical condition, Down syndrome, occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. This additional genetic material alters development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome. Erin’s other medical condition, Moyamoya, is rare. It causes the walls of the carotid arteries to thicken and the arteries to narrow, restricting or blocking the blood flow to the brain. Moyamoya disease is progressive, meaning that the vessels will continue to narrow over time, and affects mostly children and adolescents. Twenty-four percent of all patients with Moyamoya have Down syndrome.
Erin’s family is grateful for the opportunity granted to Erin and would like to share information about Make- A-Wish so the foundation will receive donations to continue to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Donations from business sponsors and private donations help make wishes come true to give youngsters like Erin the courage to deal with their illness and to help their families feel optimistic about the future.
Information about Make-A-Wish and how to donate can be found at www.wish.org. To learn about Give Kids the World Village, visit www.gktw.org.