Mecklenburg girl battling rare genetic disorder attends ACM Awards

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ARLINGTON, Tex. — A nine-year-old Mecklenburg County girl battling a rare genetic disorder attended the 50th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Texas.

Haley Hayes, who is a huge country music fan, got to meet some of her favorite stars on Sunday night thanks to Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia.

Haley with Lady Antebelkum

Haley with Darius Rucker

Haley with Big and Rich


Haley with Lee Brice

Haley with Rascal Flatts


Taking part in Garth Brooks’ performance


“Not sure what we’re doing but for Garth’s performance we and another few sections are holding things up. Should be cool,” Haley’s mom posted on Facebook.

Shannon Rogers told CBS 6 News that the Make A Wish Foundation sent her niece Haley along with her family to the big celebration.

“For my Facebook friends who have heard me talk about my great-neice Haley, who has Pompe Disease. She received a dream trip through the “Make a Wish” Foundation. Most kids choose DisneyWorld, etc., but Haley chose the Country Music Awards. Go over to Krystal Hayes’ Facebook page and see the awesome 3 days Haley, Britani, Krystal and Dave have experienced,” Brenda Baird McDowell posted on Facbeook. “Country music stars and others have loved and cared for them, and tonight, they’ll be guests at the Country Music Awards. Forever indebted to “Make A Wish” Foundation.”

Haley’s family said that she was diagnosed with Infantile Onset Pompe Disease in 2006 when she was five years old. Hayley is being treated with a relatively new medication that helps to slow down the progression of the genetic disorder, which impacts her heart and muscles.

Click here to visit Haley’s website.  Click here to connect with Haley on Facebook.