By Denise Koch

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– For months WJZ has been following the story of a young Bel Air girl who competed in Miss Teen Maryland despite some serious health problems.

Macey Brietenback suffered a setback but she’s not giving up.

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The odds were against Macey who made it to a pageant last fall. They were against her even living beyond infancy. She was born with a condition that means she cannot digest food at all.

Macey is hooked up to an IV 18 hours a day and is fed through a portal in her heart. She has never known a normal teenage life.

“I’d be happy even if I could just go to school. That would be life-changing for me,” she said.

Walking the runway at a pageant last fall was a triumph.

“That’s the kind of stuff she needs,” father Tim Brietenback said.

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“That contest, stuff like this, it carries her,” mother Mickey Brietenback said. “This was the worst I’ve ever seen her. I mean she had blood coming out of every orifice, so it was bad.”

“My parents always said to see her like that–it saddens their heart and I never knew what that meant until I saw her,” sister Lily Brietenback said.

Word of Macey’s critical illness got out and Miss Maryland, Brittinay Nicolette, decided to come to the hospital on a rainy Sunday night to do something only she could do.

“I want to give you one of my crowns so you can have a crown like the princess and the queen that you are,” Nicolette said.

Nicolette met Macey at the pageant and says they bonded right away. She too, calls Macey one of the strongest, most courageous people she’s ever met.

“She’s my idol,” Macey said.

Macey remains in intensive care at Hopkins. She and her family would love to hear from you. 

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