Central Indiana girl forgoes birthday gifts to help friend

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Saturday was Brooklynn Daniel's 8th birthday. But unlike most kids her age, she isn’t asking for anything. No presents, no money, nothing—at least, not for herself.

“Here I’m now just doing what I said I wanted to do,” said Daniel.

And what she wanted to do is to help her little friend, 22-month-old Evan Brennemen, who suffers from Prader-Willi syndrome.

“As soon as I heard that, I thought I want to help,” said Daniel.

So she asked everyone coming to her birthday party to skip the gifts, and instead donate that money to the foundation for Prader-Willi research.

“It’s really cool that she would think that highly of us and that highly of evan,” said Evan’s mom, Natalie Brenneman, who is also Brooklynn’s old kindergarten teacher.

Brennemen said dealing with her son’s condition can feel overwhelming at times. He’s on eight daily medications and is cared for by 12 different doctors. At times, Riley Children’s Hospital feels like a home away from home.

“It just speaks to her character, it really does,” said Brenneman.

Daniel’s mom, Holly, agrees with that.

“It is always something she talks about, she talks about Evan all the time,” said Holly.

Brooklynn has also always wanted to go to Great Wolf Lodge to visit. The folks there heard about it, they’ve offered her a free trip to visit and invited Evan and his family as well.

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