Non-profit helps Sanford student battling multiple diseases - FOX 35 News Orlando

Non-profit helps Sanford student battling multiple diseases

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A Sanford Middle School student says her family is struggling financially, because of a constant battle with life-threatening diseases.

Twelve-year-old Dayna Chavarria hasn't been to school in two years, because she is ill.  She uses makeup as a way to keep her mind off her pain, while staying in the hospital.

"Haven't been feeling well for a very long time now.  Been sick for six years and have six illnesses."

The illnesses include a disease that affects the brain and another that attacks the cells in a child's joints called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, or JRA.

"I have JRA, and that is an illness in the joints that causes pain, and it really hurts a lot. Then, I have my other illnesses: my pseudotumor cerebri, cortisol deficiency, empty sella syndrome, and I can't remember the rest."

"If they don't find the correct medication for her, it can affect her," says Dayna's mother Brenda

Even though Dayna's father works and has insurance, the family can't afford to make ends meet.

"Financially, we're really struggling even to put food on the table," he says.

But an organization called the Reliance Children's Foundation helped pay for some of the family's bills after a social worker at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children referred the family.  The group has assisted 50 families in the Orlando area, but needs donations so they can help others.

"Thanks to Reliance Foundation, they have helped us a lot, along with Arnold Palmer Hospital. It's been difficult, because I've had to stop working," says Brenda.  "I've gotten to a point where I have to ask people to help me, something that I've never seen myself do."

While Brenda got some financial relief this month, she says they still have the challenge of finding more funds in the future. That's why they created a website called Dayna's Dream Foundation.

"If anyone can reach out to us and give us help, we would appreciate it, because we need the help," says Brenda.

Meanwhile, Dayna focuses on keeping a positive attitude.

"Think of it as something, not a bad thing. Think of it as something that someone put it in your way to motivate you to have a better life."

Click here to see Dayna's website and click here to visit her Facebook page.



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