Zoë’s journey


When Zoë Mae Ruocco was diagnosed with bilateral hip dysplasia, her parents, Elise and Neil, had to travel far and wide to find the right doctor, eventually finding one they trusted in Rochester some 280 miles away from their home in Lake Placid.

The surgery was just one small piece of the puzzle. After three months in a body cast, Zoë had to make several more trips to Rochester for follow up appointments. With Neil working as a carpenter, Elise in nursing school, the frequent trips, and mounting medical expenses, the Ruocco family needed some help. A grant from the Christopher Emmet Hallowell Fund at Adirondack Foundation provided the assistance they needed.

“Neil and I could not have made all of these trips without the generous donation Adirondack Foundation’s Hallowell Fund gave to our family,” Elise says. “We say it every single trip. A simple thank you doesn't seem like enough. I wish I had more to offer.”

Elise says her daughter made the months in the cast fly by with her “high energy and fantastic attitude.” Those days behind her, young Zoë is walking and exploring her world with the same positive energy and attitude.

Named after Christopher Hallowell, a Westport native whose short life inspired his family and friends, the fund supports families caring for children experiencing severe and unforeseen illness. For more information, click here.

Christopher Emmet Hallowell Fund Donation