As a Twin Cities 5th grader waits for a lung transplant, her family is packing up to move to Houston, Texas to be closer to the transplant hospital.
From the outside, one would never know there's anything wrong with Gracelyn VanGorden, but on the inside, cystic fibrosis (CF) has dramatically weakened her lungs.
"I get out of breath," Gracelyn says with a cough.
The medicine that she takes through portable IVs helps fight off infection, but it has not halted the progress of her CF.
Gracelyn's last hope is a lung transplant.
Her Minneapolis doctors have referred her to Texas Children's Hospital, one of the top pediatric lung programs in the country.
"They looked at how her quality of life was and it's good, but has declined in the last few months. So they felt it was necessary now to send her down there and list her on the transplant list," her mother Linzi said.
In just two weeks, this 5th grade girl with the big smile and bigger heart for Minnesota is packing up with her parents and moving to Houston to be ready a moment's notice for a transplant.
"She's trying to think of positive things about the moving and the transplant more than the negative,
Linzi said. "But for the most part, I think she's doing good."
For Gracelyn, this is just another adventure, and after it's over, the entire family promises to move back to the Twin Cities.
"If there's one blessing that we've been able to take out of this, is the overwhelming support that we've received," her father Sonny said. "You kind of expect it from friends and family, but when you see a bunch of strangers come together, it's really humbling."
HOW YOU CAN HELP
If you'd like to help out the family, there will be a fundraiser coming up on Sunday, June 23rd at Marinio's in Fridley, Minn.
There is also the Gracelyn VanGorden fund set up at any Wells Fargo bank.