Cardiac patient celebrates birthday with masquerade ball

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A Charlotte area teen celebrated her 18th birthday like a star Friday night.

Kendall Ferguson says you only live 18 once, and she wanted to do it right.

"I always wanted to have a masquerade ball," she said. "It was kind of an idea from the phantom of the opera. That's my number one favorite."

Thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, that's exactly what she got. The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte opened one of its event halls, free of charge, to host the ball. Everything from the music to the décor and food was also donated.

"I'm pretty sure it's going to be yummy," Ferguson said. "Because I decided it's going to be sushi, grilled cheese, and Subway."

A party fit for a teen, with a grilled cheese bar and sushi donated by Enso. It was Kendall's first ever real birthday party.

She suffers from a cardiac condition that left her in need of a heart transplant at just 2 years old. She lived with that heart for 16 years. But just a few months ago, doctors told her she'll need another transplant in order to live.

"Just seeing her have to go through another heart transplant -- at first I honestly cried," Kendall's sister Kaylee said.

Kaylee is Kendall's twin, who is also celebrating her 18th birthday. But Friday night was all about her sister.

"It's crazy. And just to see her so happy, just makes me so happy."

As far as Kendall is concerned, she's got a lot of life left to live. And she's got big plans too.

"My goal is to be somewhat of a therapist and a social worker, for people like me," she said.

But Friday night was just about being 18, for a girl who is already wise beyond her years.

"It's what I really want in life - is just to make memories, and do what I can."

Kendall is currently on the waiting list for a heart transplant. About 130 people attended the masquerade ball.


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