A Young Reno Girl's Wish is Granted Sunday - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

A Young Reno Girl's Wish is Granted Sunday

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4-year old Scarlett Bertolino has a life-threatening disorder that affects the nervous system. On Sunday, Make-a-Wish Northeastern California and Northern Nevada granted her a wish that definitely put her in her element... water.

Scarlett's family told me she started having seizures at 5-months old. She has what her mother says is "catastrophic epilepsy". Scarlett has had four brain surgeries, with almost half of her left-brain removed. Her mother, Gabriella Bertolino, says she would be okay for awhile, but would then start to regress.

"Her last regression, we weren't sure if we'd get her back," she said. "So, we're very grateful to have her back."

Officials with Make-a-Wish sent volunteers to talk with the family to ask what they could do for Scarlett.

"She's not verbal," said Dr. Cynthia Freeman, Regional Director with Make-a-Wish Northeastern California and Northern Nevada. "But, her family, and through therapists, and her doctors, and her parents determined something with water would be really something she could enjoy."

"When she started swim therapy and liked the warm water therapy pool, we realized that she would rather do that than anything else in the world," Gabriella said.

So, the family decided on a hot tub. Once everything was put into place, Scarlett received the star treatment on Sunday. She was visited by Minnie Mouse, and received gifts while enjoying the hot tub with her father, Tony Bertolino.

"It's good to have father-daughter time with her," he said. "This is something we both enjoy."

"Her muscles are so tight from seizing all day and all night that having the warm water is just such a relaxing thing for her," Gabriella said.

Best of all, it brought a smile to Scarlett's face.

"We hope that she's with us for a very long time, but if she isn't, we're so grateful for the time we've had with Scarlett," Gabriella said. "She's taught us so much that I couldn't be more grateful, and I wouldn't change anything we've been through for the world."

Make-a-Wish says the hot tub was donated by Costco, and a contractor donated all the materials to set it all up.

Written by Adam Varahachaikol


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