Paralyzed 3-year-old suprised with new wheels at Hot August Nights

Reported by: Van Tieu
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Updated: 8/04 9:44 am
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - During the Hot August Night’s auction presented by Barrett-Jackson Saturday, one little girl received a new set of wheels that will change her life forever.

She got a shiny new set of wheels in her favorite colors. At 3-years-old, she can't drive, but these wheels will give her the drive to fight a paralyzing disorder, and hopefully walk on her own one day.

With her big sisters singing songs from their favorite Disney movie, ‘Frozen,’ three-year-old Ella Marini was the star at the auction.

She's been living with Transverse Myelitis.

"At 9 months old, she was diagnosed with a disorder that paralyzed her from the neck down," says Tony Marini, Executive Director of Hot August Nights.

Ella is his daughter. The family's insurance won't cover a wheelchair, but the Darrell Gwynn Foundation, which aims to support those living with paralysis, did.

They surprised her with a power wheelchair decorated out with Frozen characters. With her new chair, she won't have to rely on an adult to help her get from point A to point B.

"So now to have her mobile is amazing,” says Tony. “And it's going to give her some independence and the will to keep going and to walk someday."

Ella's big smile also encouraged the audience to bid for a wheel-chair accessible van during the auction.

It was sold to the highest bidder, Tom Day, who out bid himself to give $100,000 dollars to benefit the Darrell Gwynn Foundation.

"Children are important to everyone,” says Day of his bid. “And now you're going to make me cry. "

The Marini's say they couldn't be more appreciative of the Hot August Night's family for giving Ella the gift of mobility and so much more.

In addition to the Frozen movie, Ella can add to her favorite list of things: chasing her big sisters, and going to her parents to steal a kiss.



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