Eliza O'Neill, age 11

Photograph by Emily Barnes (2021)

Eliza is a wonderfully bright and spirited girl whose smile fills her family’s hearts and helps spread joy even on difficult days.

One day in July 2013, as Eliza O’Neill was dancing and playing with toys in the doctor’s office, without a care in the world, her parents were given the news that would change their lives forever. Eliza was diagnosed with Sanfilippo syndrome, a rare, progressive disease that affects the brain and body.
Since her diagnosis, Eliza has lost her speech, but she still understands and thinks in words. Her brother, Beckham, says Eliza expresses herself with sounds that the people close to her understand. Her mom calls her a busy bee.

Sponsored by

The Rosenbaum Family

Family Connection of South Carolina provides services and resources to families who have a child with a disability or specialized healthcare need. Since 1990 we have served more than 100,000 families and today our services are needed more than ever. We focus on parent-to-parent support, guidance with navigating the complex healthcare system, and assistance with school meetings and special education plans.

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