LAKELAND, Fla. — A 10-year-old Lakeland girl faces so many daily obstacles, yet she only has one wish every day and it all circles back to her mom.
“Books, yeah. My favorite book. That’s tough because all of them are my favorite book,” said Paola.
After a moment to think, Paola decides a Bible for children is her favorite.
“...at the end it has prayers so that is my favorite,” said Paola.
She prays every night before she goes to sleep to, “have a new beginning.”
Paola has a genetic disorder known as Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2. The disease affects her nerve cells that control muscles and she will likely never be able to walk.
“At home, my mommy has to pick me up,” said Paola.
If they go anywhere, Paola’s mom has to push her wheelchair.
“She doesn’t have the strength to pull the wheels,” said Gladys Vega, Paola’s mom.
Paola recently received an electric wheelchair. It allows her to be independent for the first time in her life. However, she cannot use this wheelchair often because the family needs a special van to transport it.
The family recently went on a vacation thanks to the “Make-A-Wish” foundation. She could use the electric wheelchair there because the organization also brought them to the cruise.
On a daily basis, Paola says she can only use her electric wheelchair at school. The family is working to get enough money for a specific type of van that will allow them to transport her wheelchair, but it is very expensive.
The new beginning Paola is praying for isn’t about something she just wants for herself.
“Because I want to help my mommy to be happy and to help her with the kids,” said Paola.
The non-profit organization, Missions of Miracles helped raise a couple thousand dollars for Paola and her family. As of Christmas, they raised a little more than $6,000. If you would like to donate to help the family get a van to transport Paola’s electric wheelchair, they set up a GoFundMe page.