A 6-year-old Massachusetts girl with a genetic blood disorder is on a mission to help others.
Addison Gigliotti, of Middleton, has started a business with her mom to help give back to the Boston hospitals that have cared for her over the past few years. She was just two years old when she received a scary diagnosis at a local emergency room: she had a rare disease which prevents the immune system from working normally.
“Last September right after her baby sister was born, we found out she had a genetic blood disorder, HLH,” Jessie Gigliotti shared of her daughter's diagnosis.
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The treatment was a stem cell transplant, and the family found out Addy's sister was her perfect match.
"So her baby sister donated her stem cells to cure Addy,” her mom said.
Addy was separated from her family for six weeks while she was at the transplant unit at Boston Children's Hospital. Addy's mom says she is forever grateful for the care her daughter received while there.
“It’s everything. We owe everything to these hospitals,” she said.
While in quarantine, Addy and her mom picked up a new hobby: making crafts.
“Together we learned how to do it which was a really fun experience," she said.
Their first project was Addy's idea; she wanted to personalize hearts for her classmates.
"So we put names on them and then she gave them out to her preschool friends,” her mom said.
Next, Addy says they sold elves to raise money for Boston Children's.
The mother-daughter duo officially started a little business called Cureative Designs last year. They personalize gifts and donate a portion of the profits to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston Children's and HLH Research.
Addy's mom says they've raised $20,000.
“Twenty thousand dollars through Addy’s army which has been pretty incredible,” she said. “The more we can spread the word, the more we can raise money for the hospitals that we owe everything to. For the care they’ve given Addy and our entire family.”
Recently, Addy and her mom partnered with Strong Little Souls, a non-profit that helps families affected by childhood cancer.