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Benefit to provide help to baby

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1.0 from 5 votes
Sunday, June 01, 2008

To help in the medical and travel costs for the family, a benefit has been scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Saturday at Northside Baptist Church.

"She was born with biliary atresia," said Beth Baker, Malie`s grandmother and co-organizer of the benefit.

Biliary atresia is a serious but rare disease of the liver that affects newborn infants. It occurs in about one in 10,000 children and is more common in girls than in boys and in Asian and African-American newborns than in Caucasian newborns.

According to Baker, her grandchild`s first symptom was jaundice. Jaundice causes a yellow color to the skin and to the whites of the eyes. Jaundice is caused by the liver not removing bilirubin, which is a yellow pigment in the blood. Ordinarily, bilirubin is taken up by the liver and released into the bile. However, blockage of the ducts causes bilirubin and other elements of the bile to build up in the blood.

"They have no idea what causes the disease," Baker said.

Malie`s parents are Timmy and Leilani Baker, who recently moved to Joplin from Neosho. Malie has an older brother, Keyon.

Baker and her mother, Ruby Harper, co-organizer, have been working on this benefit for a while. Donations have been sent in for the benefit, which will feature a dinner of hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and a drink for the price of a donation; a silent auction, a possible live auction and, capping off the evening, local Christian music group Canaan Bound.

According to Baker, some of the items which they have received for the silent auction include clothes, tanning packages, gasoline cards, oil changes, tool set, sports equipment, a portable grill, bike helmets, plants, food, mower tune-up, dogs and a corner fence post.

"If we have enough items, we are hoping to have a live auction," said Baker. "People can still donate items for the event."

Next step

The family is waiting to get on the liver transplant list. It is a four- to six- week process just to get on the list.

At times, she was on a feeding tube. Baker noted Malie is now at 14 pounds.

"She has gained 1 lbs. and 3 oz. in a week," Baker said.

Baker is hopeful that once on the list, the transplant will be done by the end of the summer.

"She is going to the doctor in Kansas City every week," said Baker. "The transplant will be done in Kansas City. "This (Malie`s condition) has been a battle."

Along with the benefit, the family has set up a fund at Hometown Bank, c/o Malie Baker.

For more information or to donate, contact Beth Baker at 389-5000 or Ruby Harper at 451-7424.

Copyright © 2006 GateHouse Media, Inc.

 

Author: By Todd G. Higdon
Source: The Neosho Daily News
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1.0 from 5 votes
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