Coral Gables

11-year-old girl born with defective heart gets the ‘royal ball’ of her dreams

Make-A-Wish Glitter Gala for Angelina

Angelina Uzdavines, 11, celebrates her 11th birthday at the Biltmore Hotel during the Make-A-Wish Glitter Gala in Coral Gables on Friday, March 1, 2019.
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Angelina Uzdavines, 11, celebrates her 11th birthday at the Biltmore Hotel during the Make-A-Wish Glitter Gala in Coral Gables on Friday, March 1, 2019.

In true ballroom attire, 11-year-old Angelina Uzdavines got the birthday bash of her dreams in Coral Gables Friday.

Uzdavines, who lives in Hollywood, was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome — an incorrectly formed heart.

Her fairytale-themed bash — organized by the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Southern Florida chapter — took place at the Biltmore Hotel. Uzdavines, who wore an aqua princess gown, arrived in a whimsical horse-drawn carriage, complete with glitter and ribbons that matched her dress.

The teen had her hair and make-up done professionally and descended a staircase to where about 100 guests waited to celebrate her grand entrance.

The party was a respite from the medical problems that have shadowed the girl and her family since birth. A feast with music followed.

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Angelina Uzdavines, 11, celebrates her 11th birthday with friends at the Biltmore Hotel during the Make-A-Wish Glitter Gala in Coral Gables on Friday, March 1, 2019. AL DIAZ adiaz@miamiherald.com

“Wish kids most often ‘wish to be’ (something), ‘wish to meet’ (someone), ‘wish to go’ (somewhere), ‘wish to have’ (something), or ‘wish to give’ (to a cause) and the nonprofit organization makes this happen for the child and his/her entire family at no cost or obligation,” a Make-A-Wish spokesperson said in a statement.

Make-A-Wish Southern Florida has granted about 12,000 wishes since 1983 for children who have critical illnesses. It aims to grant a wish for every medically eligible child in its territory, which includes 22 counties in southeast and southwest Florida, Tampa Bay, the Suncoast area and U.S. Virgin Islands.

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Angelina Uzdavines arrives with her mother, Marilyn Uzdavines, at the Make-A-Wish Glitter Gala at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables Friday. AL DIAZ adiaz@miamiherald.com

Monique O. Madan covers immigration and enterprise; she previously covered breaking news and local government. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and The Dallas Morning News. She is currently a Reveal Fellow at the Center for Investigative Reporting. She graduated from Miami Dade College and Emerson College in Boston. A note to tipsters: If you want to send Monique confidential information, her email and mailbox are open. The address is 3511 NW 91st Ave, Doral, FL 33172. You can also direct message her on social media and she’ll provide encrypted Signal details.
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