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Daughter's request grabs local doctor 's attention

A Mother's Day gift

When Rebecca Motondo heard her mother cry on the other end of the phone, her heart broke. Diana Holbrook recently had cataract surgery, eliminating her need to wear glasses. While most people are thrilled to kiss their eyewear goodbye, Holbrook used hers as a shield.

"I asked her why she was crying," Motondo said. "And she said it was because she always hid behind her glasses; that people think she's ugly."

Her mother's revelation affected Motondo enough to do something about it, and unbeknownst to her mom, she wrote a letter to Dr. Douglas Halliday, a facial plastic surgeon based in East Syracuse. She described her mother's situation, her selfless nature, and made a very special Mother's Day request.

"My wish for her would be to have a nose job and a face lift," the letter read. "I love my mother so much and it breaks my heart to see her hurting. She is the best mother and I would love her to feel good about the way she looks."

Shortly after Motondo mailed the letter, she went on vacation and returned to find several messages from Halliday's office, on her answering machine. The doctor wanted to meet with them.

"I felt compelled to do something for this person, who sounded very deserving, and because of her situation, could not afford to do something for herself," Halliday said. "I also felt this was a very good person and the procedures we were going to do on her would affect her life in a very positive way."

When Motondo told her mom what she did, Holbrook was hesitant, but eventually came around to the idea.

"When she told me about it, I wanted to do it really bad; I didn't want to miss the opportunity," Holbrook said. "I almost said forget it, but I didn't want to go through life saying 'I should of.'"

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