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Recipient revealed for Cars in the Park show
July 13, 2017

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The 39th annual Cars in the Park car show and flea market has selected its recipient for 2017. Brooklyn Hostetter, 6, daughter of Joshua Hostetter and Abbey Rupert, will benefit from the event and will be attending as this year's recipient.

Each year, members of the Mahoning Valley Olde Car Club (MVOCC), who puts on Cars in the Park, has a number of nominees presented by club members.

"Each potential kid goes to the board and we select the one that is having the hardest time with the most urgent need at the time." said MVOCC show chairman Denny White.

MVOCC member Juanita Gamble attends the same church as Brooklyn's mother, Abbey Rupert, and she knew the tough time the family was having with the medical bills and prescriptions. She asked Abbey for permission to submit Brooklyn's name and then submitted it to the board. After going over the nominees, the MVOCC board of directors chose Brooklyn to be this year's recipient.

Brooklyn's story began before birth. Abbey carried her for 36 weeks and the decision was to have a C-section. Brooklyn was born and two days later, was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.

"A heart has four chambers," said Abbey. "Brooklyn's heart has three. One chamber is non-existent."

She said children with this diagnosis must go through several steps to have a chance at adulthood. Shortly after diagnosis, Brooklyn went through the first step called the Norwood procedure, which involves putting a band around the pulmonary arteries. That step took Brooklyn into the age of six months.

The second step took blood from the bottom half of her body and directed it into the lungs, by-passing the heart. That operation was done at six months.

At age three Brooklyn had the upper half of her body directed to the lungs as well. She also had two stints placed in separate operations.

"She is done with the surgeries for a while," Abbey said.

Eventually, Brooklyn will require a heart transplant.

With the operations, medications, and constant trips to the Cleveland Clinic, the costs added up quickly. Besides the heart operations, Brooklyn has also had surgeries on her eyes, and has had her tonsils removed.

"At age nine, she became our million dollar baby," Abbey said.

To see Brooklyn today, one would not know what she has been through and is still going through. She romps and plays like other children. She just tires much more quickly and has come to know when she must cease playing and go lay down.

One other visible situation comes from people commenting on Brooklyn's lip stick. Abbey said her daughters lips have a natural blue tint to them because she was a blue baby.

Brooklyn will be at the car show on Aug. 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and she does have a favorite she will be looking for.

"I like Jeeps," she said.

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