Ask Maria Stavropoulos what she wants to be when she grows up
and there's not a moment's hesitation. The high school freshman
breaks out in an ear-to-ear grin as she says, "An actress, of
And for at least an afternoon last weekend, she got her moment
in the spotlight.
Maria, 14, got a walk-on role in the Goodman Theatre's "A
Christmas Carol," through a three-year-old partnership between the
theater and the Make-a-Wish Foundation, which grants the wishes of
Maria has Marfan Syndrome, a connective tissue disease that
affects her heart, blood vessels and spine and accounts for her
taller-than-average stature. While not itself fatal, Marfan
Syndrome comes with risks of dangerous aortic complications.
When her cardiologist at Children's Memorial Hospital hooked her
up with the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Maria wished for acting
classes. And she got them earlier this month at the John Robert
Powers school - and a walk-on role in "A Christmas Carol." She was
not the only rookie on stage: NBC Channel 5's Leeann Trotter
also had a cameo, and the two hit their cues together.
See more of Liz's stories here.
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