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Teen with rare disease surprised with shopping spree


4/8/2011

Sruthi Gottipati, Democrat and Chronicle

VICTOR — A group of boys, caps on backward, stood in the food court at Eastview Mall, holding welcome signs, their eyes fixed upon the glass doors. They were waiting for their friend Taylor Donald Pace, 15, to walk through so they could surprise him.

When Taylor, strolled into the mall with his parents, shortly after 11 this morning, a grin quickly spread across his face. They greeted each other with high fives, and a volunteer from the Dream Factory of Rochester announced that he’s being given cash and gift cards from several stores to shop to his heart’s content at the mall.
“This is the best thing that’s happened in a long time,” said Taylor, a Fairport resident.

Taylor, who was diagnosed a few years ago with a rare disease called tumor necrosis factor receptor associated periodic syndrome, has been very depressed, said his father. “He needed to know other people care. To see his friends, it means a lot to him,” said Matt Pace, 48, who was visibly moved to see his son so happy.

The Dream Factory, a volunteer organization that fulfills dreams for children ages 3 through 18 diagnosed with critical or chronic illnesses, provided most of the nearly $2,000 Taylor received to shop today.

“I can’t begin to thank Dream Factory,” said Pace, for letting his son “for a few minutes feel normal again.”

Although Taylor had met with the Dream Factory several months ago, he didn’t know this dream was coming true today. As he browsed through stores, the center of attention of all his friends, he said he’s got his eye on an Xbox Kinect and some sports cards.