A Utah teen takes on tradition to help Utah kids

- SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) -  A Utah woman took on Tiffany's and with it, a holiday tradition that will help hundreds of Utah kids.

"We're doing a tree for our daughter." Julie Slack exclaimed while hanging a bright and shiny ornament on a lit up Christmas tree.

As she secured every bulb and bobble in its place she said, "We love festival of trees and we love what it does for the community."

The Slack family plans to debut a "Christmas at Tiffany's" tree at this week's Festival of Trees, a benefit for Primary Children's Medical Center Foundation.

"We feel like they've saved our daughter's life more than once," Slack said.

19-year-old Aubrey has had several surgeries there, but you wouldn't know it.  Today she was all smiles.

"You just have to stay strong," she said.

Aubrey has Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome better known as POTS.  The condition is known for making automatic body functions nearly impossible.

Aubrey explained, "Anything that you don't have to think about my body doesn't do regularly."

That may include breathing, digestion, and maintaining blood pressure.

"It's really hard to live with sometimes," Aubrey said.

After she was sidelined by the syndrome, the Slacks took Aubrey to Tiffany's.  That is when the staff surprised her with a photo shoot and shimmering solitaires.  That inspired Aubrey to give back.

"The purpose of me and my family doing this tree is to bring awareness to this illness," she said.

They decided to decorate and auction off a Christmas tree in hope of helping others.
"When I was first diagnosed me and my family we had no one," Aubrey said.  "We were so alone in this. And I don't want anyone to ever have to go through that because it's not easy and it's not fun."

Her mom agreed.  "It's really hard to see a once active vibrant teenage girl to be reduced to being in bed and unable to go to college like her friends, but she's a fighter," Slack said.

Aubrey chose to fight with a tree decked out in décor and a message for other kids in her place.

"There's always someone out there that can relate and empathize with you," she said.

The Festival of Trees begins Wednesday, December 4th and ends Saturday, December 7th.  The event will be held at Sandy's South Towne Expo. Center from ten to ten each day. Tickets are five dollars for adults, three dollars for children, and 15 dollars for a family of six. Click here for more information.

All proceeds go to the Primary Children's Medical Center Foundation which has raised 33 million dollars at the event to date.

The "Christmas at Tiffany's" tree will be auctioned there and will include gift donated by Tiffany's.

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