Angelica (center) with her family
Angelica (center) with her family

Angelica Hicks, a local 7-year-old girl fighting the rare nerve disorder Hirschsprung’s Disease, felt the love of a community Wednesday evening, May 7.

The West Haverstraw Wendy’s, 125 Route 9W, hosted a fundraiser in her honor, feating free face painting, music, a raffle as well as Team Angelica wristbands. Face painters Elizabeth Ancin and Emily Grant were surprised by the amount of people that flocked to the restaurant to support young Angelica.

As a surprise, elementary school teacher Jenifer Knerr came dressed as Wendy, the famed icon of the hamburger restaurant. Knerr became involved due to the fact that one of her students is T.J, Angelica’s older brother. Previously, she organized a student bowling fundraiser in her honor.

Team Angelica began when Michelle Fauchere-Barkovich, who grew up with Angelica’s mother Helena Blauvet wanted to do something for such a strong little girl, after it was learned she needed to make regular visits to an Ohio hospital to treat her condition.

Flash forward to Wednesay evening, Wendy’s will donate 15 percent of all sales receipts during the fundraiser to “Team Angelica.” Staff from Farley and Stony Point Elementary of the North Rockland Central School District co-hosted the event.

Angelica’s mom Helena said, “Angelica is a tough, strong and amazing little girl.It just warms her heart to see all the support of the community coming together for her.”

Angelica, who has dreams to become a singer one day like her idol Demi Lovato, was nervous because she was not expecting all the different people to come out and support her, but her smile lit up the whole room.

Hirschsprung’s Disease is a rare nerve disorder that affects the large intestines and hinders food digestion. The disease is typically treated with surgery to bypass or remove the diseased part of the colon, but Angelica’s case has proven more challenging than the norm with extremely rare complications arising.

As a result, doctors from the tri-state area have referred her to specialists at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, costing Angelica’s family a great deal in medical and transportation costs.

For those who could not attend the event and would like to be apart of the “Team Angelica” movement can reach Helena Blauvet at 845-821-4329. To send donations you can mail them to 37 B Tompkins Ave., Stony Point, NY 10980. As part of Team Angelica you can also purchase team bracelets for $2.00, ‘survival paricord’ bracelets for $4.00 and Team Angelica shirts for $15.00.

Owners of the Haverstraw Wendy’s include Fox NY anchor Ernie Anastos and his son Phillip.

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