TONAWANDA, NY - Mariana Maniscalco's personal story is one of hope, determination, and strength. She's sharing her experiences and a positive message in her new book that was published thanks to the Make-A-Wish foundation.
Maniscalco's health problems began two years ago when she was just 14. She battled what she thought was the flu. It turns out that was just the beginning of a domino effect of issues.
Her mystery illness was in fact a rare bacterial infection. It sparked leaks on her heart, an aneurysm, and stroke - all in nine days. She would eventually undergo three brain surgeries and a heart surgery, but her positive spirit and drive were stronger than ever.
Maniscalco was granted a wish from the Make-A-Wish foundation which helps children and teens with life-threatening medical conditions realize their dreams.
Her wish was unique - to write and publish a book about her experience and give a portion of the money from sales back to Make-A-Wish.
It's titled "If Your Head Can't, Your Heart Will...But What If That's Broken Too?"
She hopes her story will inspire others to never give up, no matter how tough life gets.
"That's really what my book is about, telling the story of how you can get dropped down to nothing and rise back up, and anything is really possible," said Maniscalco.
Maniscalco's official book release party is Wednesday, April 29th which is also "World Wish Day." The event runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at room, 1400 Hertel Avenue in Buffalo.
This year's Western New York Make-A-Wish gala is Saturday, April 25th at the Hyatt Regency in Buffalo. It begins at 5:30 with a silent auction. The dinner and program begins at 7:30 p.m. It raises money to help the foundation grant other wishes. For tickets, call (716) 810-WISH (9474).