Michigan girl mauled by raccoon receives wave of support - New York News

Michigan girl mauled by raccoon receives wave of support

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WJBK - She told us all she wanted was to wear earrings -- and now she's got a lot of options.

The 12-year-old girl from western Michigan who was attacked by a raccoon, shows us how the generosity of others is helping her heal.

"This is all the jewelry people sent me," she said.

Dozens of pairs of earrings and countless cards, all sent to Charlotte Ponce from strangers everywhere, and with the gifts comes a message that she needs to hear.
"I'm beautiful, unique and brave," she said.

As an infant she was attacked by a raccoon, and for two years Charlotte has been undergoing surgery to rebuild the right side of her face.

Doctors at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak carved an ear from her rib cartilage -- after growing a skin mold in her arm for three months, the ear was attached to her head.

This is the surgery she seemed most excited about.

"What will be the first thing you do when your ear is in place?" asked Fox 2's Deena Centofanti.

"Get earrings," said Charlotte, whose new ear is healing every day.

For Charlotte, wearing earrings is really a symbol for something much more significant, feeling whole and fitting in.

That's why Fox 2 asked viewers to send Charlotte earrings and according to her mom, Sharon Ponce, many did, with an immeasurable impact.
"How do you thank people and thank the doctor, there aren't words," Sharon Ponce said. "It means so much that other people care so much about my little girl and helps her go through it knowing other people are caring about what she's going through."

The next surgery will involve a skin graft on her arm where her ear once was -- but Charlotte knows it only gets better from here.
"I can finally wear earrings when this is all done," Charlotte said.

If you'd like to send Charlotte a note or gift, you can send them to P.O. Box 397 Fruitport, MI 49415.
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