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Make-A-Wish Foundation granting shopping spree

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GINA R. HEINE
December 3, 2010
— The couple hundred stores at the Gurnee Mills outlet mall in Illinois await 9-year-old Treya Okray.

On Saturday, the Janesville girl will go on a shopping spree, a dream being realized thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.


"They have a whole day of fun stuff planned for her," said her mother, Jessica, who with her husband, Andy, will accompany Treya.


Treya, who turns 10 on Christmas, has a life-threatening genetic heart condition, CPVT.


Her life changed early this year when she received the diagnosis and learned she can't do any stressful physical activity.


That was difficult news for Treya, who had been very involved in sports.


"For her to just have everything come to a crashing halt … it was very hard on her," Jessica said.


She loves shopping, so the news that her wish would be granted brought excitement.


"This is the happiest she's been in awhile," her mother said.


Jessica said the Make-A-Wish application process was simple. Many people mistakenly think it's only for people who are terminally ill, she said, but children who have a life-threatening condition also qualify.


Treya passed out when she was in kindergarten, and her mother always suspected something was wrong. Her suspicions were confirmed after another episode in third grade.


Luckily, the same paramedics transported Treya both times. Her mother said that's what led to the diagnosis because they remembered her and hooked her up to an EKG on the way to the hospital.


The results along with genetic testing led to the diagnosis.


The condition is passed through families—her father, Andy, has a pacemaker—so Jessica wants people to know the symptoms. The condition is difficult to diagnosis, she said.


CPVT (catecholamine polymorphic ventricular tachycardia) is a congenital abnormality in the heart's electrical system that can produce sudden death or loss of consciousness from ventricular fibrillation during physical or emotional stress, according to about.com.


It sometimes is misdiagnosed as seizures, said Thomas Teelin, cardiologist and electrophysiologist at Mercy Regional Heart and Vascular Center.


CPVT is rare, he said. Unexplained fainting or feelings of racing heart can be symptoms, he said. People who have known heart problems in their family history should ask questions and be screened for heart conditions, he said.



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