Bella Santorum Turns Four this Weekend

Friday, 11 May 2012 12:35 PM

By Paul Scicchitano

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Former GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum is calling on his supporters to send birthday wishes and tweets to his daughter, Bella, who suffers from a rare, life-threatening genetic condition.

Santorum and his wife Karen are hoping their youngest daughter's fourth birthday on Sunday will "take Twitter by storm."

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(AP Image)
“Now, with Bella's fourth birthday just a few days away, Karen and I would like to invite you to share in our joy and celebration by sending Bella a written or video birthday wish on our website. We know that these well-wishes from you all will make this milestone birthday even more special,” Santorum’s penned in an email to supporters on Friday.

In April, Santorum dropped his presidential bid, citing the declining health of Bella, who suffers from Trisomy 18.

“Today, Friday, May 11, we ask you to take one more step for Bella by tweeting her a birthday wish and adding thehashtag #happybirthdaybella,” Santorum requested.

“Wouldn't it be amazing to see #happybirthdaybella take Twitter by storm?”

Santorum noted in the email that only 10 percent of babies with Bella’s condition survive birth and 90 percent fail to celebrate their first birthday.

“Ten days after her birth, we brought Bella home, and doctors prepared us for how she was going to die. Frankly, this made us angry; Karen and I were not going to just let Bella go, we were going to fight to give her the opportunity and the chance to do as well as she could,” he said. “We did just that. We celebrated her life every day, and took nothing for granted, rejoicing in every day we had with her.”

Since those early days, Santorum said that Bella has defied all of the odds. “Nearly four years later, Bella is a ray of sunshine at the center of our family's universe, every day inspiring our family with her joyful spirit,” he said.

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