WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Episode 15208 -- Pictured: (l-r) Ramona Singer, Vicki Gunvalson, Andy Cohen, NeNe Leakes, Kyle Richards, Teresa Giudice -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo)

Virtual BravoCon Brought To Teenager With Terminal Illness; Andy Cohen And Real Housewives Make A 13-Year-Old’s Dreams Come True

We could all use some kindness, but the last place you expect to see it is on Bravo. But damn it, call your friends and family because this story managed to melt even my hardened, dark, barely beating heart. Go ahead and grab a tissue because the sun might get in your eyes or you could be at risk of suffering a spontaneous allergy attack after this one. Bravo and the shows on Bravo are many things to many people, but sometimes it’s everything to one person. Today we meet Miss Bella Pape.

Bella loves reality television and all that it implies, her favorites are the Real Housewives and she’s quite familiar with the franchise. But Bella isn’t binge-watching shows on a rainy day, she was born with a disorder that has kept her in long-term care for most of her life. In 2020 Bella was hoping to attend BravoCon, but it was cancelled due to the pandemic. The event has returned in 2021, but Bella’s health is deteriorating and traveling is no longer an option. So the troops rallied and brought BravoCon to Bella, thanks to Real Housewives of D.C. alum, Mary Amons.

I’m not crying, you’re crying. Oh fuck it, we’re all crying. Bravo has shown us public displays of drunkeness, marital infidelity, going to jail, and basic bitches – but now we are getting to see Bravo’s other side. And it’s a beautiful thing. Housewives superfan Bella is 13 going on Kyle Richards and I’m here for it.

She was diagnosed with Kabuki Syndrome at birth and has already endured 150 surgeries. Kabuki Syndrome is a rare multi-system malady which includes several medical abnormalities. Patients are expected to present with short stature, heart defects, and life expectancy can be shortened due to coexisting issues. In Bella’s case, she has had open heart surgery and three organ transplants to date. Most of her life thus far has been spent in-residence at the Wisconsin Children’s Hospital.


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When BravoCon was born, it was the end all be all event for Bella. An absolute mecca of Housewives personified and she desperately wanted to attend the 2021 run. Unfortunately her health took a bad turn and it seemed like BravoCon was a no go. Until former Housewife Mary heard about it, that is. E! News shares the incredibly heartwarming story. Warning, don’t read this at work.

Mary has mutual acquaintances with Bella’s mom, Katie Pape and took it upon herself to do the damn thing. Per the article, “Mary curated a “Real Housewives Birthday Extravaganza! for Bella.” Everyone now quietly say, “well done, Mary”. Even Andy Cohen got in on it with a videoed birthday greeting. “Thank you for loving the Housewives. We all love you back, and we want to wish you the happiest birthday. Stay strong and I’m sending you a big hug,” he said.

Really choked up to see everyone that participated. Real Housewives of Dallas stars Tiffany Moon and Stephanie Hollman sent good wishes, along with RHOD alums Cary Deuber and the infamous LeeAnne Locken. Dallas also came through with Kary Brittingham, Jennifer Davis, Kameron Westcott, and Tiffany Hendra. Luann de Lesseps went full Real Housewives of New York and laid some cabaret on Bella. Kristen Taekman also represented RHONY.


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Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was not to be outdone with a message from Garcelle Beauvais, and Bella’s fave of all time, Kyle. She did a vid with Portia Umansky and said, “Hey Bella, I heard it’s your birthday and you’re turning 13-years-old, the same age as my daughter Portia. I hope you have an amazing birthday and so much fun and I’m sending you lots of love.” Fun fact, Bella was dressed as Kyle for her party and it. was. everything. This kid even received a personal phone call from none other than actual legend, Kathy Hilton.

Real Housewives of New Jersey totally showed up with Teresa Giudice, Dina Manzo, Jacqueline Laurita, Melissa Gorga, Dolores Catania, Margaret Josephs, and Jackie GoldschneiderReal Housewives of Orange County OG from the OC Vicki Gunvalson sent best wishes, along with Emily Simpson, and Braunwyn Windham-Burke. I mean, everybody really came together for this. Even former Real Housewives of Miami stars Ana Quincoces and Marysol Patton reached out to Bella.


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Members of Mary’s RHODC cast Lynda Erkiletia and Cat Ommanney made sure to get in touch with Bella as well. You can watch a video of Bella’s amazing birthday wishes here. Reality Tea would also like to send much support and love to Bella and her mom, Katie.


[Photo Credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo]