Written by: Sherry Christian
She has the face of an angel - but a syndrome with the same name is causing a "devil" of a time for a Dauphin county 10-year old.
Selena Smith of Middletown, Dauphin county has Angelman Syndrome, a rare chromosome depleting disorder.
But thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Philadelphia and the Susquehanna Valley-- a rare trip the Smith family will be taking is making a difference in their lives.
Abbey Dunn is Selenas mom and she says, "we were told she wouldn't walk, she wouldn't talk, she wouldn't do anything. Selena walks, Selena talks, she plays at the playground with all the other kids."
But Selena didn't learn to walk until she was 8 years old because of Angelman Syndrome.
David Smith, Selenas dad says, "she's always happy, when we start bickering amongst ourselves, she pulls it back together."
And what really put a smile on Selena's face was the local Make-a-Wish Foundation -- when they granted her wish of going to Disney World.
It will be the first destination vacation ever for mom, dad, Selena and her 8-year old brother, David, junior.
Abbey says, "as soon as we told her she was going to Disney World, her Minnie and Mickey shirts were out, sleeping with Minnie and Mickey at nighttime."
Not only is this wish making it possible for Selena and her brother to go to Florida, but it will also be a healing process for the entire family.
David says, "right now we're having a few issues with our son. He throws it at us that we spend more time with Selena which in all reality, we have to. And were gonna try to make it about him."
The Make a Wish Foundation chose the Olive Garden on Jonestown Road, Dauphin county for the "wish reveal party" because spaghetti is Selena's favorite food.
John Brant, Manager for that Olive Garden says, "anything to make Selena and the family happy. If we can do the reveal here, that's fantastic."
Sherrie Davis is a Volunteer Wish Granter for the foundation and says, "everybody does it different. Sometimes it happens at their home, sometimes it happens here at the Olive Garden and other places. We try to do it at places that are special for the child."
And if the family had a specific wish it would not be to change their child.
David says, "I never seen myself as one of those type of people who could actually deal with having a handicapped child -- or even someone close to me. I mean, I wouldn't have it any other way.
The Smith family is going to
Disney World in May and then right after that they head to Reading, PA for the annual Angelman Syndrome walk.
Here are links to learn more about the Make-a Wish Foundation and Angelman Syndrome Foundation.
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