A student at Temple Hill School in the Newburgh Enlarged City School District is currently battling a rare, incurable medical condition and is in declining health. The community is rallying to raise money so she can soon have a traditional Quinceanera birthday celebration, marking her passage from girlhood to womanhood. Time is sensitive for the ailing child, her mother stated.
Angeles Gonzalez was born a completely healthy girl. During the first six months of life, her family noticed she did not have the abilities of other children her age. When they took Angeles to a pediatrician, she was referred to physical and occupational therapy. There, she was diagnosed as “slow development.”
However, when Angeles turned one year old, she still was not walking. The pediatrician ordered a CT-scan to rule out the possibility of a brain tumor. Blood tests revealed a tumor marker. Angeles’ family took her to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital for various genetic tests and to Westchester Medical Center for neurological care.
After several tests, Angeles was diagnosed with Ataxia Telangiectasia, a rare medical condition that cannot be treated, has no cure, and is progressive. It directly affects the nervous system and the respiratory tract.
Maria Gonzales, the child’s mother, said Angeles’ health has been deteriorating and nothing can stop the disease. Experimental treatments that have been used in other countries have not yet been approved by the United States FDA.
Angeles is now in a wheelchair and needs 24 hour medical care.
“Time is very sensitive for her,” said Maria.
Angeles will soon be turning 15 years old and her wish is to have a traditional Quinceanera birthday. This is popular in the Hispanic culture for marking a girl’s passage to womanhood.
“We want to celebrate her,” said Maria. “Life is so precious these days and I truly believe that time is golden.”
Maria is hoping to receive enough donations to cover the cost of the venue, food, music, decorations, rentals, and other costs. She is hoping to invite approximately 150 people to Angeles’ celebration of life. On the guest list are Angeles’ teachers, therapists, classmates, and former classmates. The party will be on August 12, 2023.
The fund-raising goal is $8,000. If the goal is exceeded, Maria vowed to donate the remaining money to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. So far, $5,821 has been collected.
To donate to this cause, visit Maria’s GoFundMe page here.