HARTFORD – A young girl from Rocky Hill is spending her birthday giving back instead of getting gifts.
Aliana Fichera, who will turn 13 on Friday, held a unique birthday celebration on Wednesday at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford.
Fichera, her family, her friends, and hospital patients drew pictures and wrote messages of encouragement in chalk on the concrete entryway to the hospital. The group also painted rocks that will be placed in a garden near the Emergency Department entrance. The hope is that children stuck inside in their hospital rooms will see the artwork from their windows and it will bring a smile to their face.
“I just want them to know that it always gets better. It doesn’t always stay like what you’re going through right now. Take it from me, it gets better,” said Fichera.
Fichera is a patient herself. She was diagnosed with Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID) when she was 8 years old. As a result, she lacks functional antibodies to fight off illnesses, even the common cold.
So she receives monthly infusions at Connecticut Children’s.
“I know how much she struggles, so for her to do this it means a lot. She knows that it is not always about take, take, take. She’s very much about giving back and this is her way of giving back pretty big,” said Tina Fichera, Aliana’s mother.
This is how she has celebrated her birthday for the past three years. In addition to creating the artwork, she raises money for a different department of the hospital. This year she is hoping to raise $5,000 for the CCMC School. After Wednesday’s party, they had surpassed $2,300 in donations in person and online. Online donations are still open.