OSSINING, N.Y. -- The grand marshal of Maria Fareri Children's Hospital Go The Distance Walk is going to a very special Ossining girl.
Dream Shepherd, a 9-year-old student at Claremont Elementary School, was surprised Monday at school with the news of her appointment in front of teachers, administrators and 100 students. Dream was even given a specially tailored grand marshal sash.
The event, a 1-mile walk with family activities, is the biggest fundraiser for the hospital and will be held on May 4.
Dream was born with sickle cell disease and has battled numerous complications, including a stroke at age 5. Despite her illness, Dream is an active student, Girl Scout, artist and musician.
"She has been through a lot," Michael Gewitz, the physician-in-chief of the hospital said. "She is an inspiration for these kids with her energy and enthusiasm."
Dream said she was very happy to be grand marshal of the walk.
"It's an honor to help kids," Dream said. "I really hope all the kids get better soon."
Dream said she has been excited ever since she found out and is looking forward to leading the walk.
"It means so much to me," Dream said. "There is a special place in my heart for all the nurses that helped me."
Diana Lemon, Dream's mom, said she was honored by her daughter's selection.
"She has such a great attitude," Lemon said. "She always sees the glass as half full. The hospital has given her great care. They have always been behind her. I am excited and very happy for her."
For more information on the Go the Distance Walk visit www.westchestermedicalcenter.com/walk .