COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - A Naples family is celebrating a milestone in their daughter's life. Doctors told the Buford family their little girl would not live to see her fifth birthday but on Saturday, dozens of people gathered to celebrate Charlie Buford and make one of her wishes come true.
Charlie Buford had a very special guest list and Make-A-Wish sent out the invitations.
"Her favorite characters are Elmo and Sponge Bob. When we asked her who these characters were she went right up to her poster and pointed to every single one. She made all the sounds she could to tell us that was what she loved," said Christina Rosolia with Make-A-Wish.
Parents Teresa and Charles say they weren't sure their little girl would make it to her own party.
"We were told in November, we didn't know we would make it here today. So as the days got closer, we thought, what a perfect opportunity for a birthday party," said her mom.
The youngest of four siblings, Charlie was born with a rare genetic disorder called Cardiofaciocutaneous or CFC Syndrome. She's been in and out of hospitals most of her life and has endured more than 45 surgeries.
"It's really taught us that there are more important things in life that matter and it's life it's family," said Teresa Buford.
Charlie's father quit his job so he can drive her to treatments at the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital.
"I'm not going through what she's going through. And the best thing I can do is just be here and make her as happy as possible," he said.
Her mom works full time to provide income and health insurance.
"You're on this journey and you don't know where this journey is gonna take you and you have to celebrate every day. And to make it to this day is amazing," she said.
Both say every day with their daughter is a gift.
"As long as she's smiling and shows us love, she's not going anywhere soon," her father said.