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Santorum's Daughter Highlights Serious Illness

A Dale-City based organization is fighting the disease that caused the three-year-old girl to be hospitalized this weekend.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum took a break from the campaign trail this weekend to spend time with his three-year-old daughter Isabella, who was hospitalized with pneumonia.

Isabella quickly recovered, but the incident brought attention to Trisomy 18, the genetic disorder Santorum's daughter was born with, and which a Dale City-based organization is dedicated to fighting.

According to the Trisomy 18 Foundation, whose offices are located in Cheshire Station Plaza, less than 10 percent of babies born with Trisomy 18 will survive to their first birthday. Some children with the defect, however, can live longer and be actively involved in their comunities, the foundation says on its website.

According to the Huffington Post, many children like Bella have congenital heart defects as a result of the disorder, meaning it is much more difficult for her heart to pump blood to the rest of her body. This can cause fluid to back up, and leave her more susceptible to infections like pneumonia.

ABC News reported that Santorum told Minnesota voters Sunday evening that his daughter had a "miraculous turnaround."

"I know how she got through it," he said. "It was with the hands of these doctors and the prayers that guided those hands."

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