PLEASE share this wonderful story with every Crohn’s Disease patient or Crohn’s patient family member you know because it is nothing BUT INSPIRING and revealing of the extraordinary resiliency of a 15-years-old girl bravely battling the pervasive and serious medical challenges posed by Crohn’s Disease with the love and support of her family.
Utica, New York local TV station WKTV aired this piece produced by Rachael Murphy (@RMurphyWKTV) about a 15-years-old Utica, NY girl Mia DeFazio who’s been battling Crohn’s Disease for the past six years. This video segment captures the real-life often extraordinary challenges presented by Crohn’s Disease while it also reveals the strength and character of this resilient 15-year-old as she somehow manages to prevent recurrent hospitalizations for Crohn’s from muting the otherwise joyful experiences of her typical teenage life while she instinctively recognizes the importance of the love and support she receives from her family by including them in her Walt Disney World Make-A-Wish dream come true.
Produced and written by Rachel Murphy for WKTV (Utica, NY) @RMurphyWKTV
UTICA, N.Y. — A 15-year-old Utica girl, who is battling a life-threatening illness, will have her dreams come true after the Make-A-Wish of Central New York granted her wish to visit Walt Disney World.
Mia DeFazio seems like a typical teenage girl. She likes watching Disney movies, she enjoys painting and she loves the boy band One Direction.
But for the last six years she’s been fighting Crohn’s Disease, a life-threatening chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract that has no known cure.
She’s had several surgeries, been forced to continue schooling at home and it has changed her diet dramatically.
“Last month she was 69 pounds,” said Vanessa DeFazio, Mia’s mom. “She’s 15-years-old, 5’1 and 69 pounds is not that great.”
Her mom wanted to lift Mia’s spirits, so she surprised her by applying to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the wish was granted. Next month Mia’s two younger siblings and her parents will all take their first vacation together to Walt Disney World.
“I was so excited, I just can’t wait,” Mia said. “I know I’m never going to forget that time. And I’m so glad my family gets to be with me.”
The locally-owned business Tallman’s Tires and Auto Repair donated to the foundation to help make Mia’s dream come true.
“Some children can’t do things that they want to do because they are always in the hospital,” Vanessa said. “So when people want to support us and help us out it’s amazing.”
“The company’s generous support throughout the year affords them the opportunity to be a part of this very special wish experience,” said Development Director Christine Corbett, in a written press release. “The average cost of a wish is $12,000 and we’re on target this year to grant 90 wishes. We rely on donors like Tallman’s to make wishes come true.”
Make-A-Wish Central New York recently held a surprise wish announcement party for Mia at BB Designs in New Hartford. BB Designs donated space for the announcement party, as well as a painting experience for Mia and her family.
Mia said she wanted the trip so that she could share her wish with her whole family.
“They’ve been with me through this tough time with me and I think they deserve it too,” she said.
According to Make-A-Wish Central New York, the organization grants the special wishes of kids like Mia who face life-threatening medical conditions and are between the ages of 2½ and 18 years of age. Since its inception in 1985, the chapter has granted more than 1,600 wishes throughout its 15-county region, which includes Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Otsego, St. Lawrence, Tioga and Tompkins counties.