10-year-old with heart disease throws surprise pizza party for LAFD firefighters

CANOGA PARK, LOS ANGELES -- Everyone loves pizza.

That's what 10-year-old Noah Michaelis thought when she surprised firefighters with a pizza party on Sunday to thank them for their support during her struggle with a congenital heart condition.

"Everyone likes pizza. I like pizza," the Winnetka resident said.

Michaelis has been raising money for other kids with congenital heart disease through her lemonade stand, which is right around the corner from Los Angeles Fire Department Fire Station 72 in Canoga Park.

The firefighters quickly rallied around her cause and became loyal patrons. They even brought their friends.

"Noah truly is an inspiration," said Wayne Schuetz, a firefighter paramedic. "Here's a very articulate and very mature young lady who is raising money for her cause."

Noah Michaelis hugs LAFD firefighter Wayne Schuetz after delivering pizza on Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014.


In 2009, Michaelis underwent three open heart surgeries. To celebrate her return home, an event was thrown in her honor and Noah's Festival of Life was born.

The event has become a fundraising effort to support the Hopeful Hearts Foundation, which aims to defray the costs of hospitalization for children with congenital heart disease.

"We like to support the community just as they support us. She's a really outstanding young lady," said Neil Benveniste, a probationary firefighter.

The best part? At 50 cents a cup, "it's great lemonade," Benveniste said.

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