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Denver7 viewers help Lakewood mom after son's rare medical diagnosis

Denver7 viewers donate more than $7K to help a Lakewood preschool teacher and single mother of two
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Posted at 3:13 PM, Feb 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-26 19:24:52-05

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — A Lakewood preschool teacher and single mother of two who faced financial and emotional hardships after her son was diagnosed with a rare medical condition is getting some much-needed help.

It's all thanks to our amazing Denver7 Gives viewers who raised more than $7,000 after Denver7 first sharedAnnie Principali's story in January.

Principali said a few months ago that she noticed her 12-year-old son Thayne's face looked swollen. She took him to the dentist right away. They first believed it was an abscessed tooth.

After seeing a few doctors and getting CT scans done, they found that Thayne had two benign tumors. It was a condition called juvenile active ossifying fibroma.

"It's very rare to have one, and it's extremely rare to have two," Principali said.

She said she was relieved to hear it was not cancerous but was told they'd face a long road ahead.

Thayne has had to undergo two surgeries to have the tumors removed.

Denver7 viewers help Lakewood mom after son's rare medical diagnosis

Principali shared in January how this has caused both emotional and financial hardships.

"I don't make much money. So me missing [work] ... to take care of him, take them to doctor's appointments ... I've had a lot of anxiety. We've had a lot of curveballs thrown at us here through this," she said.

Denver7 caught up with Principali and Thayne on Sunday, which also happens to be Principali's birthday.

She said she's been overwhelmed with the support she's received since her story aired. She said many people in the community, many of whom she doesn't know, have reached out to her to offer help and ask how her son is doing.

"It's been helping me get the support I need to get through this," she said, adding that things are looking better. "He's back to school. He's doing really well. Everybody at school has been very helpful."

Denver7 had a special birthday surprise in store for the single mother of two, surprising her with a check for around $6,000 to cover the cost of a few months' rent payments. The rest of the donations helped pay for Thayne's dentist bill and a utility bill.

"Thank you. This is even more overwhelming. This will really help the worries of having to come up with the money for everything. This will definitely help, so thank you guys," Principali said. "It's just been overwhelming with the love and support that I've had."


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Denver7 features the stories of people who need help and now you can help them with a cash donation through Denver7 Gives. One hundred percent of contributions to the fund will be used to help people in our local community.

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