High School Freshman, Movie-Maker, With Terminal Disease Wishes For More Fans On Her YouTube Channel, Classmates Pledge To Help Spread The Word - NBC Bay Area
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High School Freshman, Movie-Maker, With Terminal Disease Wishes For More Fans On Her YouTube Channel, Classmates Pledge To Help Spread The Word

Writing, directing, and acting in videos with her friends is one of 14-year-old's favorite escape from muscular dystrophy. She just wished more people could see here work. (Published Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016)

There have been two constants in Robyn Gutierrez's life.

One is her dream of becoming a famous actress and director.

The other is the congenital muscular dystrophy that casts a huge cloud over that dream.

But thanks to her classmates at San Jose's Branham High School, Gutierrez might soon gain a measure of fame and validation before it's too late.

The 14-year-old has been too ill to attend school for the past two months. She spends much of every day hooked up to a breathing mask in the family's living room. Gutierrez's mother, Aarica, worries that if she doesn't see improvement soon, her daughter might not live to see the end of the school year.

One of Gutierrez's few escapes from her struggles with muscular dystrophy is the videos she writes, directs, and acts in with her friends. She has already completed the first of eight episodes of a series she created called "Something's Fishy."

"I like being able to be someone else and it's just fun getting to be someone else for the day," Gutierrez said.

She just wishes more people could see what she has done.

"I want people to see that people who are disabled can do anything they put their mind to," Gutierrez said.

Which is where Branham's annual Winter Wishes program comes in.

Each year for the past six years, every student at Branham gets a paper star on which they are asked to write a wish. The wish can be big or small, for themselves or someone else. The leadership fulfills many of the small wishes throughout the fall but holds on to the big ones for a rally in early December.

This year, they held on to Gutierrez's wish. She asked for more subscribers for her YouTube channel.

At the rally, held earlier this week, Gutierrez got up on stage in front of the entire school and told them about her life, the good and the bad. She shared her dream of acting and directing . They responded with a standing ovation.

The leadership club has pledged to lead a social media campaign to gain subscribers for Gutierrez's channel.

"That's something money can't buy is making that particular wish come true," Erica Gutierrez said. "I'm really grateful that they're gonna try and make that happen for her."

Before her wish, Gutierrez had fewer than one hundred subscribers. How many would she like?

"A thousand would be great," Gutierrez said.

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