OVIEDO, Fla. – Sue Terraglio said she's known Allie Skelly since she was born, and that it's been hard seeing her struggle at such a young age.
"I just want to do something to lift her up and let her know people care," Terraglio said. "It's heart-wrenching to know what she's going through. Four years ago, Allie got sick and she wasn't able to attend high school at a regular basis. A year ago, she was diagnosed with EDS."
Terraglio told News 6 because of the Ehlers–Danlos syndrome, which is a connective tissue disorder, and other complications, the Oviedo teen is in a lot of pain most of the time.
"Some days she's in bed. She's bedridden because she can't do certain things," Terraglio said. "She's a brave little girl for going through and getting all the surgeries she's had. She's had brain surgery, fusion in her neck and back."
Right now, Skelly is at the Ronald McDonald house in New York awaiting another surgery that's set for April. Wednesday is her 18th birthday.
Terraglio said she wants to surprise Skelly and has asked people to send her birthday cards.
"We're just trying to rally around her and embrace her and celebrate her life," Terraglio said. "She's going to be 18 years old. That's a special birthday."
Terraglio posted the information on Facebook, and Skelly has already started to receive letters in the mail from all over the nation, including one from a kindergarten
"She did not know who they were from and she goes, 'That's weird,'" Terraglio said. "She didn't know where they came from."
Terraglio said she hopes all the well wishes will lift Skelly's spirits.
"Happy birthday, Allie," Terraglio said. "We love you and we all care about you, and you're going to get through this. Just hang in there. Don't ever give up."
The family has set up a GoFundMe page for Allie.
To send her a card, here's the address:
- Ronald McDonald House of Long Island
- Allison Skelly
- 267-07 76th Ave Room 502
- New Hyde Park, NY 11040
A GoFundMe has been set up to help fundraise for Allison. You can find more information, here.