Drive for Miracles: Stella's Story
Updated: Monday, February 10 2014, 05:23 PM EST
Drive for Miracles- Each day this week 13WHAM News is sharing stories of families greatly impacted by Golisano Children's Hospital.
And Friday we team up with 100.5 The Drive and WHAM 1180 for the Drive for Miracles fundraiser to tell amazing success stories and stories of brave battles that ended in loss.
The stories have one thing in common: families who want to give back to the hospital that did all it could for their kids.
That includes the family of Stella Grace Gagliano.
Nothing could steal Stella's smile.
Her mom Kara remembers, "She pushed through everything. She had really tough days sometimes, you couldn't tell, she kept fighting through it."
It was at six months; Stella was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease and was admitted to Golisano Children's Hospital. There, Stella's parents Dave and Kara Gagliano told the staff not to give up until Stella was ready. They listened.
"They were willing to accept any recommendation that my husband and I had," Kara said.
Eventually, Stella went home.
With around-the-clock care, she stayed there for a year - until it was time to go back to the hospital.
"They allowed our family to be with us for the support and do whatever they needed to make us as comfortable as possible... The technology the hospital has, they wouldn't be able to do any of that without donations."
Then came the day - Stella Grace was ready.
"She made the decision all by herself... She was just shy of three years old when she passed and she just lit up everyone's lives … very blessed to be around her," said her mother.
And to be warmed by a smile that bubbled up on so many bitter days.
Stella fought hard against Gaucher's Disease, type 2, which is so rare the hospital had never treated it. The staff of Golisano Children's Hospital rallied around Stella so much that a family recently moved here from California for their kids who have the same disease to be treated here.
A new Golisano Children's Hospital is under construction now.
13WHAM News is pledging to raise $350-thousand dollars to help build it.
Our Jennifer Johnson wrote a blog explaining 13WHAM's goal.
You can read it HERE and donate.
All donations made through THIS LINK help 13WHAM's effort to help the hospital.
And join us Friday as we team up with 100.5 The Drive and WHAM 1180 for the Drive for Miracles fundraiser to benefit Golisano Children's Hospital.