Meet Charlotte Braga


Tell us about yourself - who you are, where you are from and why you applied for a grant.

My name is Jennifer Zangari, my daughter is Charlotte Braga, she’s 11 years old and we live in Cumberland RI. When Charlotte was 7 years old she was participating in competition dancing. In the middle of the season she had unusual bruising which resulted in a trip to her primary care doctor. After many tests it was determined she had a bone marrow failure disease called Severe Aplastic Anemia. She had to quit dance to get treatment and recover. We applied for the grant as Charlotte is healthy enough to get back to competition dancing but due to the extremely costly medical bills we are still dealing with, the grant helped enormously to offset some of the dance expenses.

In a few words or sentences talk about your experience (i.e. what it was, where, when, how did you do, etc.)?

Charlotte is currently rehearsing for her first dance competition of the season in January. She is extremely excited to be back at rehearsals and working with her friends on dance routines.

What did you learn from this experience? About yourself? About your goal/dream? How did it make you feel to participate? 

Charlotte learned that going through a hardship, which at the time seemed so devastatingly hard to recover from, if she persevered and had a positive outlook she could get back to accomplishing her goal of participating in dance competitions again.

Did this experience open doors to new opportunities?

Charlotte is going to continue to follow her dreams of dancing on stage and continuing to improve on her dance skills.

What are you going to do next in pursuit of your dream(s)? What are your goals moving forward?

We are both beyond grateful for this experience and to be chosen as a recipient! Going through tough times as a child and as a parent with a child dealing with a life threatening illness is the hardest experience to deal with. With the help of the grant we are able to resume some normalcy and for that we are very appreciative!