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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
540-483-5113
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Rocky Mount girl’s dream comes true
Sick 8-year-old gets trip to Disney World
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Staff Photo by Stacey Hairston: Scharlie Dillon’s Disney World send-off party from the Make-A-Wish Foundation included a horse-drawn carriage ride to Hardees in Rocky Mount, a cake, gifts and a bouquet of flowers from Shrek’s Princess Fiona herself.

Monday, May 26, 2014

By STACEY HAIRSTON - Staff Writer

A wish is coming true for a Rocky Mount girl who has been sick her entire life.

Scharlie Dillon, 8, has Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), and when the Make-A-Wish Foundation heard of her condition, they stepped in to make her dreams come true.

She is going to Disney World this week and says she "can't wait."

Scharlie was diagnosed with EoE at the age of 14 months. Her body rejects protein and she has trouble swallowing. She also has a partially paralyzed stomach. There are only about six foods she is not allergic to, according to her mother, Summer St. Peter.

"Scharlie can eat chicken, rice, potatoes, apples, grapes and watermelon," St. Peter said. "After eating those things three times a day, every day for years, she gets sick of it, so she has a feeding tube."

This past December, Scharlie was diagnosed with a new set of illnesses.

Doctors have told her parents that she has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a connective tissue disorder that makes her skin, joints, muscles and ligaments more elastic, or "floppy," than normal.

The syndrome causes tracheobronchial malacia, a disease in which the trachea collapses.

Scharlie also has postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a disorder in which sitting up causes an abnormally large increase in heart rate.

With all the hospital visits and doctors surrounding Scharlie, she is still a normal kid who loves softball and Disney princesses.

Scharlie is currently homeschooled and has just finished the second grade.

"She is a straight 'A' student," said Rebekah Miller, one of Scharlie's nurses.

Last week, Scharlie was given a send-off party from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

A horse-drawn carriage picked her up at her house and escorted her to Hardees in Rocky Mount, where she was met by Fiona from the Disney movie "Shrek."

Scharlie was presented with a bouquet of flowers from Fiona, a cake, a tiara and other gifts.

"It was pretty awesome," said Scharlie.

"I don't think a smile ever left her face that day," said Miller, who accompanied her on the carriage ride to Hardees.

Scharlie is scheduled for another maintenance surgery in August to have an endoscopy biopsy and her feeding tube replaced.

"She has to have this surgery every three to four months from now on," said St. Peter. "There is no cure for her conditions."

In the mean time, Scharlie is looking forward to her trip to Disney World and says she can't wait to dress up like a princess.

"They will take her to the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique at the Magic Kingdom, where she will get to dress up as a Disney princess. And she will also get to eat with princesses in the castle," said St. Peter.

"I will get to be Princess Elsa from (the Disney Movie) 'Frozen'," Scharlie said.

 
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