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Saluda Community & Elementary School Rallies to Meet Critical Need for 11-Year-Old with Disabilities

Emily Progin, PR and Communications Coordinator / 800.642.8399

Release: Immediate


SALUDA, S.C.—Cynthia Fanny Del Valle-Silvero’s family were told that Cynthia wouldn’t live to see her third birthday. Now 11 years old, Cynthia is defying the odds every day. With help from an abundantly supportive family and community – including the compassionate team at Saluda Elementary School – Cynthia has the chance to live and thrive despite the challenges of her medical diagnosis.

That community of support is coming together to help meet a critical need for her family: a reliable wheelchair van. To raise the funds they need, they are partnering with the trusted national nonprofit Help Hope Live to collect tax-deductible donations.

Cynthia was born without any visible health issues – but by the time she turned four months old, her family noticed she wasn’t gaining mobility as expected. She lost more and more of her strength as time passed, and by seven months, Cynthia was in and out of the hospital almost every month. She was diagnosed with muscular atrophy.

Despite the grim prognosis that Cynthia would not survive long, her family rallied to foster hope and support her complex medical needs. She defied the odds, and today, she is a loving and engaged 11-year-old who loves attending school at Saluda Elementary, swimming, nature, and spending time with her family’s dogs, cats, and four new kittens.

Cynthia relies on a wheelchair for mobility. As she has grown, it has become challenging for her family to continue using a non-modified vehicle for transportation. Safe transportation for Cynthia is a must – to access school and play, medical appointments, family gatherings, and so much more. However, insurance won’t cover the cost of a wheelchair-accessible van.

That’s why Cynthia’s community of friends, family members, and professional advocates turned to the national nonprofit Help Hope Live to start a medical fundraising campaign.

Tax-deductible donations can be made at: Donate to South-Atlantic Catastrophic Illness Fund in honor of Cynthia Fanny Del Valle-Silvero (

“We are extremely grateful for any contribution,” said mom Auscencia.

These fundraising efforts are backed by the full support of Cynthia’s community, including several professionals at Saluda Elementary who have been playing a direct role in helping to spread the word and support the campaign in any way they can.

Unlike a GoFundMe campaign, donations to Help Hope Live are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, and all funds raised will be managed by the nonprofit to cover verified medical and related expenses. Help Hope Live verifies medical and financial need for every patient.

Help Hope Live is a national nonprofit that specializes in engaging communities in secure, tax-deductible fundraising campaigns for people who need a transplant or are affected by a catastrophic injury or illness. Since 1983, campaigns organized by Help Hope Live have raised over $172 million to pay patient expenses. ###

Written by Emily Progin