Local Wish Kid helping Make-A-Wish grant other wishes
An AED is never far from six-year-old Cecily Fortunato. That's because she has Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS), known as Long QT.
"If I'm really, really scared or something, my heart might get slowed down," Cecily explained, showing her medical bracelet. "I have to wear either a medical bracelet or a necklace all the time because everybody needs to know in case it happens."
One in every 2,500 people in the United States has Long QT, including Cecily, her little sister Viola and her mom, Erin.
"We don't want to stop her from having fun in life and experiencing the things she wants to experience, but we want to make sure she's safe," Erin said.
Cecily takes medicine every day; she can't compete in sports or ride roller coasters and needs constant supervision when swimming, dancing, or playing with friends.
It can be tough for the Fortunato family, but they've been able to get through those times ever since Make-A-Wish granted Cecily's wish. That wish? To go to Disney World, where she will be getting the full princess treatment at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and having dinner in Cinderella's Castle.
"Every single day we talk about Cecily's wish coming true," said Erin. "When she's scared at night, we say, 'Let's think about Disney and get good happy thoughts going through your head.' We hope that other families have the same opportunities and experience the joy a wish coming true can bring to their lives."
And Cecily is making sure that happens. She was picked by Make-A-Wish to compete in this year's Wish Star Battle, raising money so other kids can have their wishes come true, too.
"I want them to be happy with their family and live a good life," she said.
Cecily will be going to Disney World in January.
Until then, she is working with 13WHAM's Ashley Doerzbacher in this year's Wish Star Battle, competing against Buffalo to see who can raise more money for Make-A-Wish of Western New York. The competition will last until January 6, when there will be a party at Red Fedele's Brook House.
Make-A-Wish of Western New York grants about 150 wishes every year.
You can help Team Rochester, by clicking here.