Meet Michelle and her family. Michelle is a sweet and gentle kindergartener living with biotinidase deficiency (BTD), a genetic disorder that causes seizures, weak muscles, breathing problems, developmental delays, and hair loss. She has two sisters: Peyton, who is only two years old and loves Minnie Mouse, and Barbara, a healthy, active first grader who enjoys taking care of her younger sisters and reading to them. For this family – and the thousands of others we serve – Project Sunshine’s on-site hospital programs provide an opportunity to forget about painful medical procedures or frightening diagnoses and have fun together.
Normally reserved and self-conscious about her hair loss, Michelle transforms when with our dedicated volunteers – often throwing aside her hat and peeling away from her big sister to engage in the enriching activities all on her own.
“If Michelle is having a really tough day, we pull out the calendar and point to the next Project Sunshine program,” her mom, Melissa, explains. “Once we arrive, I can actually breathe, since the volunteers give Barbara and Peyton the same incredible attention as Michelle.”