Fair / Windy
HAMBURG, N.Y. (WKBW) - It was all smiles and tears for 11-year-old Piper Francis last November. Getting the news she could finally go on her dream vacation to New York City for free. An exciting moment for the pre-teen who was born with a very severe and rare form of heart disease.
"She's actually the second child born in this country, from what I was told at Strong, with this type of condition," said Heidi Pietrzyk, Piper's mother.
Now, fast-forward three months and the top of the fighter's bucket-list is to give the trip to someone like her. Someone like 8-year-old Grant Domogala, who's also fighting to keep his heart beating.
"My mom was on her phone looking at [the message] and she said 'ooh!' and I said 'huh what happened?' Then she read the thing to me... I was like woah!" said Grant, while sitting in his Hamburg home.
A fitting gift to give from one heart warrior to another, especially poignant during Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week. A priceless feeling for Piper, who truly understands what her friend Grant is dealing with.
"I know what he's going through because I have a heart condition and it's hard," said Piper.
A journey they've both lived through all their lives, but one Piper hopes will help Grant forget the hard moments.
"I really wanted to give this trip to him, so he can get away from all the testing, the traveling, the doctor appointments," said Piper.
It's those appointments where Piper and Grant will sometimes see each other. Both having a heart condition, and sharing the same doctor. So Friday afternoon, Grant made a special Valentine for Piper, to say thank you. Grant tells 7 Eyewitness News he does not have a date on the trip yet, but hopes to go this summer.
To follow his journey, you can head over to the Grant's Warrior's Facebook Page.