A book was recently published to raise funds for 2 year old Daniela Ciriello, a Southington girl battling Cooley's Anemia, a rare and lifelong blood disease.
“It’s all about her story at the hospital," says mom Nicole who hopes the story of her daughter's bravery will help minimize fear of the medical world for other children . “It teaches about not being scared of the doctor.”
The book, "Dance, Dani, Dance!" was written by the little girl's aunt, Angela Dillon, and illustrated by Lamarr Walton, who referred to actual photographs of Daniela in the hospital when creating his pictures. “It’s really quite amazing. I am beyond thrilled. I was blown away. It was a complete surprise," says Nicole. “Me and my husband were in tears. Daniela loves it. She holds it and says, ‘Look, Mommy! This book is about me.’”
Nicole says folks are buying the books and donating them to elementary schools: “I’m selling out of them left and right.”
Money raised by sales will help pay Daniela's medical bills but Nicole also hopes the book raises awareness about Cooley's Anemia, or Beta thalassemia, an inherited, chronic blood disease. Daniela's bone marrow does not produce enough healthy red blood cells, requiring constant transfusions. The family wants to highlight the importance of blood donation.
Check out the family's Facebook page: Daniela's Dream for a Cure.