Family checking off bucket list for baby with terminal illness

- When Zailynn Mars was diagnosed with a rare, incurable condition at 3 months old, her family did not set out to shelter her from the outside world. Instead, they created a bucket list for their newborn to help her experience all that she could during her limited lifespan, which doctors predict will be cut short to only two years.

“As a father to a little girl, it’s heartbreaking,” Cory Mars, Zailynn’s father, told WBAY-TV 2. “These kids, they don’t deserve any of this.”

The news station reported that the Mars family, of Neenah, Wisconsin— about 100 miles north of Milwaukee— has already enjoyed a visit from Santa Claus, and Cory has walked his daughter down the aisle.

“We’re making the best of the situation as possible and making her as comfortable as possible,” Cory told WBAY-TV 2.

Little Zailynn suffers from a severe form of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). SMA is a genetic disorder that causes the loss of motor neurons in the spinal cord and brain, affecting the control of muscle movement.


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