Georgia mom plans birthday surprise for daughter
DUNWOODY, Ga. - All 7-year-old Gabriella wants this holiday season is a birthday party with her friends.
"With the Christmas holiday approaching, it breaks my heart just writing this letter. Hopefully Gabby will have a birthday to remember," said Jessica Wood, Gabby's mother in an email to FOX 5.
Jessica gave birth to a healthy baby girl on December 21, 2008 at Northside Hospital. Gabby was a healthy kid until about 2014-2015. Gabby was in kindergarten and kept getting sick. "We have never been so scared in our lives," said Jessica.
Gabby received a number of tests that resulted in her being initially diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. Gabby's stomach and intestines were badly inflamed at just 5-years-old. "We were in shock and never heard of a child having this disease."
Months went by and the medication was not working. "Gabby would have good and bad days, flaring up almost every other month. She was still going to public school, not feeling as well as she should, until the kids started bullying Gabby. She cried every day and told us how she ate lunch by herself," said Jessica. Gabby was eventually re-diagnosed with Crohn's Disease.
Jessica pulled Gabby out of public school and is now homeschooled through the Georgia Cyber Academy. "Because Gabby thinks about her birthday and if any kids will show up for her, she goes into a flare because of her Crohn's disease," said Wood. "I want the world to know that there are others battling this disease."
Jessica wants to help find friends for her precious daughter. "I want to make something great happen for Gabby's special day. I'm a single mother and just want the best for my child."