A miracle child to support

Help ‘Sweet Marley’ by ordering a shirt, wearing it on surgery day

By Ken Esten Cooke— There is a special gal in town who needs our support in her ongoing tough battle with a rare disease.

Marley Bedford, the three-year-old namesake of “Sweet Marley’s” yogurt and sandwich shop, will have another surgery on Feb. 17 to address complications of Rhizomelic Chondro Dysplasia Punctata, or “Rhizo,” a rare disease that affects fewer than 100 children nationwide.

Most children with the disease don’t live to see their first birthday, yet Marley is not three and has walked and talked, far more than was ever expected.

Of course, the financial toll, to say nothing of the emotional one, of dealing with this disease is staggering. Marley’s parents opened the restaurant to raise awareness, but recently had to close it to devote more time to the upcoming major surgery. (They will still operate a food trailer at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.)

Community members, particularly those at St. Mary’s Catholic School, have been phenomenal in their support of the family. Now we all can pitch in.

T-shirts with the slogan “I’m sweet on Marley” are for sale now and those who purchase one are asked to wear it on her surgery day – Monday, Feb. 17 when she faces a major spine infusion procedure.

Those who would like a shirt may purchase one ($15 for adults, $12 for kids) by going to the “Smiles for Marley” Facebook page or contacting Marley’s mother at crystal.bedford@gmail.com.

Please get in orders quickly so they may be fulfilled by the surgery date.

Fredericksburg rallies around many causes. Wearing this shirt is a way to support the family and the little girl whose indomitable spirit is both infectious and inspiring.

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