LUBBOCK, TX - Brynne Bigham knows a thing or two about dancing in front of hundreds of people. This year she will be cheering on one of her idols during the Waltzing for Wishes Gala.
"Brynne is just the most positive little ray of sunshine I've probably ever met. Especially considering her life long struggle with chronic illness," said Holly Richardson who is a celebrity dancer this year.
Brynne was diagnosed with trichohepatoenteric syndrome or 'THES' and it's very rare. Basically her body just doesn't know what to do with food.
"Her disease is so rare she's one of twenty in the world, and one of forty historically," said Maggie Guthrie, Brynne's mom.
Knowing nothing can compare to what Brynne goes through everyday, Richardson knew she had to do something to help a cause so near to Brynne's heart.
"She's always positive, she's been through things that most adults probably couldn't handle and just done it with a smile her whole life. So anytime I think I got it bad, I think of her and channel her. If she can get through what she's done with a smile then I sure can," said Richardson.
After watching Brynne on the dance floor with her dad during last year's event, Richardson says she had to get involved.
So she's taking on a challenge that is way out of her comfort zone. Her dance partner added an extra obstacle right before show time.
"Make-A-Wish is so inspiring. It's such an emotional event, I really wanted to have put together a piece that's reflected that emotion. The piece that we were doing just wasn't that, and so we switched and like we've said, we're really happy with what we have now," said Derek Johnston, Richardson's dance partner.
"We've decided to make a change which I think is for the better. We went from one style to another but I'm happy about it," said Richardson.
"I want her to dance, and spin around and smile," said Brynne.
These two ladies have a very special bond.
"My middle name is Brynne, so that's where her mom got her name too," said Richardson.
"Before we even knew Brynne was sick, I knew what I wanted to name her. Holly means so much to me, and it's a cool name," said Guthrie.
Brynne's wish was to meet her best friend who also has THES and is from Canada. It was the first time the Make-A-Wish foundation granted two wishes from different countries. The girls wanted to meet each other in real life, and hang out on the beach.
"We're just thankful that God placed us where we could be so we can help other wish kids. Because if there's anything that parents of children like Brynne need, it really is just a break. And that's what the wish trip is, it's a break. To not worry about if we have enough money to finish the trip. Where we're going to eat. It's all taken care of and you just go and just relax and just be a family. And it really is, it's something everyone asks what can you do? Give to places like Make-A-Wish that can truly just let us be a family," said Guthrie.
Brynne and her mom have some advice before Richardson takes the stage in April.
"She needs to have a big smile and she needs to have fun. Holly, I hope you have a really good time, and I love you!" said Bigham.
"I would say picture everyone in their underwear, but don't do that. Really just relax and have fun and she really does, she's a great dancer, I won't tell you how I know that. We've known each other long enough so I've seen some of her moves and she really is a great dancer," said Guthrie.
If you'd like to get involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, just give them a call at 806-785-9474.
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