Waco: Community Raises Money For 7-Year-Old With Rare Heart Disease

By: Brittany Semadeni Email
By: Brittany Semadeni Email

WACO (October 4, 2012)--The community is coming together to raise money for the training of a service dog who will benefit a 7-year-old girl.

Hope Skinner was born with Pentalogy of Cantrell, a rare heart disease that causes defects in the diaphragm, abdominal wall, pericardium, heart or lower sternum, and sometimes a combination.

Hope wears an oxygen tank, with the smallest one estimated to weigh about 30 pounds.

LaSalle Shoppes, a family-owned vintage and antique store on LasSalle Avenue, is rallying the community in an effort to raise money to help train Hero, a service dog that will carry her tank and help sense the onset of respiratory trouble.

The service dog’s training will cost $5,000.

Vendors at the store and community members have been donating items to raise money for the cause.

Items will be accepted through the end of the month and include things like china, teacups, pitchers, furniture and more.

“There’s no minimum value that can be donated. We have dollar items being donated, anything helps,” Manager Katy Beard said.

Beard has designed a tee shirt that is also for sale in an effort to raise money.

The light pink shirt includes the Hope’s Hero logo along with the words, “Sometimes all a girl needs is a hero.”

Shirts can be purchased for $12 or $14 for size XL.

So far, Beard says the store has raised about $700 for Hero’s training. Their goal is to raise at least $2,500.

A golf tournament fundraiser had been set for last weekend but had been rained out.

“None of the proceeds from donated items will go to the store. It is all for the little girl, to let her know the community loves and supports her,” Beard said.

Donated items containing the word “hope” have been purchased back by some vendors so that the items can be given to Hope October 19 along with her own special shirt.

Hope will be visiting the store that day but family members say the event will be a closed gathering of just a few people because of her weak immune system.

Donations will be accepted through the end of October and can be brought to the shop during regular business hours.

LaSalle Shoppes is open every day except Monday.

For more information, call Katy Beard at (254) 753-2059.

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