Sunday, August 22, 2010

Meeting Danielle

While at the Miss New England Coed Pageant, I had the opportunity to invite two very special guests to join me. Danielle Munoz is an eight year old girl with Cockayne Syndrome, and both she and her mom Lydia came to watch the preliminary evening gown competition with us. Danielle and her mom are here in Boston visiting Children's Hospital from Texas to participte in a medical/genetic study for children with Cockayne Syndrome. Danielle was chosen as she met all the criteria necessary to partipate in this study. As you will recall in an earlier post after the Mrs. International Pageant, I was able to meet a boy named Derick from Arizona who was in Boston participating in the same program. After Derick and his parents went back home, his mom told me about Danielle and asked if I would be able to meet up with her when she came to visit Boston. I said of course, but I did have a conflict with being part of the New England Coed Pageant. I then figured that I could do both and invite Danielle with her mom when I was free from my duties, and it all worked out perfectly. Along for the ride came my other friends Brooke Bibeault, Miss Massachusetts Teen USA, Tamara Sacharczyk, Miss Massachusetts Teen World, Jennifer Hard, Classic Ms. Massachusetts, and of course my daughter Sierra. Both the girls had so much fun watching the pageant, and after it was over, we traveled over to the Natick Mall to have lunch at the American Girl Store. During conversation we found out that the Danielle's Birthday had been the week before, so we asked our waitress if we could have a little celebration for her. Out came a bowl of ice cream for Danielle with a few candles and everyone sang Happy Birthday to her. When lunch was over, we walked through the store and took some pictures of the girls and all of us to remember this visit. I then drove Danielle and Lydia back to Boston and it was so hard to say good-bye as Danielle is such a love. It was so nice to see her interact with Sierra and even at one point they were holding hands in the car, which would have been a sweet picture had Sierra not been fresh and pulled her hand away and giggle. I also loved how when we all came back to my hotel room before lunch, Danielle absolutely loved playing with my dog Lola. She has so much joy and love to give, and it was truly a privilege to have met her. I want to thank Dre, Derick's mom for telling me about Danielle, and also Dr. Neilan from Children's Hospital who gave me the opportunity to meet both of these fabulous children. I hope that this is not the last time, and wish for a friendship that goes on for a long time. I am looking forward to keeping up on both Danielle and Derick through their parents, and hopefully see them soon again on another trip to Boston!

For more information on Cockayne Syndrome, please visit:

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