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Veranna’s stepmom, Sheila, remembers exactly how she felt during her first visit to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.

She felt relieved. Relieved that there was a team ready to get Veranna the life-changing treatment she desperately needed. Relieved that a social worker was standing by to help their family with the challenges of having one child hospitalized and four others at home 120 miles away. But mostly, she was relieved that she knew she could trust these people with Veranna’s life.

“I am very protective of her with anyone,” Sheila says. “When I met the team at Packard Children’s, I knew I could trust them.”

Veranna had been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition that led to hepatitis, cirrhosis, and eventually, liver failure. Veranna also faced an inflamed pancreas that led to multiple hospitalizations.

A liver transplant was Veranna’s best option. Sheila and her husband, Rondell, began the excruciating wait, hoping that a match would be found quickly.

The call that changed everything came at 10 p.m. one night last October.

The donor liver was a perfect match and just 11 days later Veranna was able to leave the hospital and move temporarily to the nearby Ronald McDonald House at Stanford. Throughout it all, volunteers and social workers supported the family. An organization called There With Care delivered groceries so Sheila could cook for her family, creating a semblance of home away from home.

“It all meant so much to us,” says Sheila.

Veranna spent two months in Palo Alto before she was able to return home and pick back up where she left off.

“Veranna’s life is great right now,” Sheila says. In April, Veranna attended her senior prom with her classmates. She has hopes of going to college and one day medical school to follow in the footsteps of her gastroenterology doctors because, as she told Sheila, “I want to do what they do and help other kids in my situation.”

Thank you for helping Veranna and her family through some of the most difficult moments of their lives. Because of your support, along with incredible Packard Children’s team members, Veranna has a very bright future.   “My hope for Veranna is that she will do what she aspires to do,” says Sheila. “I want her to live a normal adult life. She has had a hard life as a teenager. Now she can do everything she is planning to do. We’re excited about the journeys ahead of us.”

Keep an eye out for Veranna on June 23 as she, Sheila, and their entire family join us for Summer Scamper and Veranna helps us count down the 5k/10k race start.