Liberty girl headed to music concert
By Michael DiVittorio
Published: Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, 1:16 a.m.
Caitlin Conroy wants to be a musician. The 10-year-old Liberty girl sings and listens to music a lot.
She suffers from epilepsy, as well as an inoperable low-grade glioma or brain tumor and several learning disorders.
A fourth-grader at South Allegheny Elementary School, Caitlin was diagnosed with epilepsy and the tumor in September 2010 after she suffered a seizure during a car ride with family members.
But the health challenges aren't keeping Caitlin from her musical dream, thanks to a White Oak-based nonprofit organization. Jamie's Dream Team, which makes dreams come true for the terminally ill and injured, has provided her with a new Mitchell acoustic guitar, guitar lessons, a Primanti Brothers gift card and spending cash to go along with tickets to Friday night's Selena Gomez concert at the Petersen Event Center.
Caitlin will be in the crowd with her mother and several others singing her favorite Gomez song, “Who Says.”
Caitlin's tumor is inoperable because it touches the brain stem and the procedure to remove it is too risky, said her mother, Shelley Conroy. She said her daughter suffered from other illnesses before and after the diagnosis, she was in and out of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC many times.
“Every time we go it's something new,” she said. “The hardest part is struggling with the epilepsy.”
Dream Team vice president Kim Shidel said the guitar and guitar lessons came from Guitar Center in Monroeville.
Caitlin was all smiles on Thursday at Shidel's house, and said she was happy to have her dream come true.
Shelley Conroy wrote a letter to Jamie's Dream Team founder Jamie Holmes after Caitlin's aunt contacted the organization.
“I was really excited to be able to do this for her,” Holmes said. “When I met her I knew she was deserving. They're a wonderful family.”
“It's amazing what you guys do,” Shelley Conroy told Holmes after volunteering to help the organization. “We think that music will help her 'cause she'll relax. We're hoping she's a musical genius; who knows.”
Holmes has made dreams come true for more than 320 families in the past six years.
The latest fundraiser is a Coach and Vera Bradley Purse Bash on Nov. 2 from 6:30-10 p.m. at the Boston Spectrum, 6001 E. Smithfield St. in Elizabeth Township. Tickets are limited. A $25 donation is required. The event includes free food and refreshments. Winners need not be present. All prizes must be claimed within 30 days. Call 412-377-3898 for more information.
All purses come with a gift receipt and are exchangeable at the Ross Park Mall Coach and Vera Bradley stores.
More information about Jamie's Dream Team is available online at www.jamiesdreamteam.myfastsite.net. Monetary donations to Jamie's Dream Team can be sent to 2023 Cypress Drive, White Oak, 15147.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Serra Catholic High School friary to house foreign students
- McKeesport workshop focuses on summer programs, policy updates
- 5 Operation Pork Chop defendants sentenced to 5 years probation
- Officials in North Versailles fed up with littering
- Steel Valley Bicycle Tour will raise funds for trail maintenance
- McKeesport student to celebrate Jackie Robinson’s legacy
- East Allegheny counselors receive national recognition
- Markosek supports McCord for governor
- West Mifflin public works lauded for efforts
- Crews fill Duquesne sinkhole
- Dravosburg residents try to save PNC Bank from closing