ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. — One moment Arianna Muti was playing soccer -- the next she was in a helicopter on the way to a hospital for emergency brain surgery.
The 9-year-old from Elmwood Park was diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation, a tangle of abnormal blood vessels connecting arteries.
Having endured countless surgeries and spending sleepless nights in the hospital has made it difficult for Muti enjoy a carefree childhood, but Hawthorne mother Ginger Pierro wants to change that.
Muti will be the honorary guest of the 2016 Princess Ball in July, organized by Pierro to aid the youngster and her family.
"I honestly just want [Arianna] to know that people care and feel for her," Pierro said. "A special day made all for her."
More than $47,000 had been raised on a GoFundMe site for Muti as of Wednesday night.
Pierro is hoping the proceeds from the Princess Ball will further alleviate the stress that medical bills have put on Muti's parents.
"Seeing a child suffer like that and all the surgeries just breaks my heart," Pierro said. "I can never imagine what her family has gone through."
Pierro is currently collecting gift baskets to raffle off at the event. Those interested in donating can email her at email@example.com by June 15.
The Princess Ball will be on July 10 in Fairfield.
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