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Cooper City family shows gratitude for hospital by hosting fundraiser

Family credits Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital with saving girl's life

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – A Cooper City family is showing its gratitude for a hospital's life-saving efforts by paying it forward with a special fundraiser.

"The doctors and nurses at Joe DiMaggio (Children's Hospital) were so good to us and our daughter Grace," said Mary Carr.

In the spring of 2014, then-7-year-old Grace was rushed to the hospital after a routine eye exam.

"When we went there we thought it was just going to be for glasses, and they immediately sent us to the emergency room, so it was life-threatening," said Carr.

The "it" was a tumor wrapped around her brain stem.

"The surgery to remove it took eight hours," said Dr. Dean Hertzler. "It was a very complicated case because of the position of the tumor. It was difficult to get it out without hurting her."

Grace spent several weeks in the hospital following surgery and is still going through physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

"She had to relearn everything -- walking, talking, eating," said Carr.

Painting has also proven to be a positive form of therapy for Grace.

Before the surgery, she was enrolled in classes at the Harris Art Studio in Hollywood, which she resumed shortly after returning home.

Mary Carr said painting helps Grace recover both physically and emotionally.

"She's happy, she's got her wit and her humor and she loves to paint, and she's back," said Carr.

The Carr family is hosting a fundraiser for the hospital Thursday from 3-6 p.m. at the Harris Art Studio in Hollywood. For more details on the "Celebration of Life" event and to reserve a canvas, call 954-895-9541.