WESTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- As a parent, one of the toughest thing you'd ever go through is hearing your child has a rare condition.
One Westhampton woman has used her diagnosis as a defining moment for the rest of her life.
"My parents, after I was born...were told I would never talk, walk, see, hear. They were advised to put me in a home. Thank God they didn't," said Isabella Sacharczyk.
Like many 20 year olds, Sacharczyk is in college studying for her future career, but she also has hydrocephalus.
"Hydrocephalus is water on the brain. It's an incurable condition where the cerebral spinal fluid doesn't drain. I have hydrocephalus," Sacharczyk explained.
After her initial diagnosis, Sacharczyk has proven the doctors wrong each step of the way.
"I graduated from Hampshire Regional and am now in college. I've made it my mission in life to become a medical researcher to help find a cure for hydrocephalus," Sacharczyk noted.
Sacharczyk is instrumental in the organization Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation, where she is co-director for the Massachusetts chapter.
One of the groups biggest events is a fundraising walk.
"This past walk, we raised a little over $5,000. We do a walk here and an event in New York. Combined, every year, we have been able to donate about $10,000 to Boston Children's Hospital," Sacharczyk said.
Many in Westhampton are supportive of her efforts.
"Outlook Farms is absolutely incredible. They are gracious enough to allow me to put a donation jar near their register. I picked up the jars right before the walk and we had $150 to add to the total we raised for the walk," Sacharczyk added.
We wanted to help, so on behalf of Western Mass News and Diamond RV, Jacob presented Sacharczyk with a check for $500.
"Every dollar gets us closer to a cure. I feel that we are close," Sacharczyk said.