GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– Sharyn Capobianco senses her late daughter Milan everyday. The mother and owner of Philip Anthony Salon says it’s a reminder to keep going.
“She was a fighter, and one of our pinky promises was that we never give up, we never give up on anything in this life,” Capobianco said. “I’m overwhelmed, but I’m not giving up.”
Milan passed away in 2009 from an inoperable brain tumor. The young girl was diagnosed with the terminal condition a few days before her seventh birthday. Doctors told Capobianco that radiation treatment could only buy the family time.
“Unfortunately they said, there’s really nothing they can do, that there wasn’t any research being done,” she explained. “”We thought please someone help us, because we were just being turned away everywhere else.”
After getting several other opinions, the family returned to Grand Rapids with fading hope. Capobianco said that’s when they turned to the Van Andel Institute (VAI) to raise money for a cure. Milan’s Miracle Fund was created to support VAI research to help her daughter. Since losing Milan, the fund now supports other families in West Michigan along with research into a variety of pediatric cancers.
Milan’s Miracle Fund has raised more than $100,000 dollars in the past three years. This month, the fund donated $52,219 to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.
“Every penny that’s raised through Milan’s Miracle Fund stays right here locally in Grand Rapids, but yet its findings are global,” explained Capobianco.
The money was raised through three special events in 2013: Milan’s Miracle Run in June, the Grand Rapids Crew Juniors showcase in August and the Milan Miracle Showcase in September.
For more information on Milan’s Miracle Fund, or if you’d like to donate, click here.